Vitamin C plays many important roles in your body and can directly impact your athletic performance. In addition to helping protect your cells from free-radicals and playing a central role in the building of collagen, vitamin C supports the metabolism of vitamin E and iron. Vitamin C also helps reduce the respiratory discomfort associated with working out in cool temperatures.
Colorful fruits and vegetables are the best sources of dietary vitamin C.
Signs of vitamin C deficiency include slow healing, prolonged bruising and poor dental health. Too much vitamin C can increase your risk of developing kidney stones.
It’s important to ensure you’re getting enough daily vitamin C, but did you know that your DNA plays a role in your vitamin C levels?
The SLC23A1 gene influences how well your body absorbs and stores vitamin C and is primarily active in your kidneys. If you have a certain variant of this gene, you could be at risk of lower vitamin C levels.
It is easy for most people to reach their recommended daily vitamin C intake. For adults, this ranges from 75 mg/day to 95 mg/day for women and men, respectively. Pregnant and breastfeeding women require 85 mg/day and 120mg/day of vitamin C in their diets.
Here are some ways you can increase your vitamin C intake:
- Substitute some of your energy drinks or soda with fruit juices. Be careful as some juices contain a lot of sugar.
- Add raw, colorful fruits and vegetables to your snacks.
- Help your body recover from heavy training or injury by adding additional vitamin C to your diet.
- As always, consult with a medical or nutritional practitioner before making substantial changes to your diet.
Find out which variant of the SLC23A1 gene you have and learn how your DNA affects your ability to absorb vitamin C with Athletigen’s Nutrition Report.