Vitamin C is an essential vitamin well known for its ability to boost your immune system during a cold. What many people don’t realize is that it’s actually a very powerful antioxidant and plays a major role in the growth and repair of tissue. It’s critical for healing wounds and restoring cartilage and bones after an injury or surgery.
From a fitness standpoint, vitamin C helps you quickly recover from intense training and aids in protein metabolism. Additionally it cuts down on inflammation and lowers cortisol levels in the body. This is especially key after a workout when your stress levels are elevated.
This is super interesting – there is also evidence which suggests that vitamin C may reduce exercise induced asthma in some people.
The FDA and National Institutes of Health recommends the following daily dosage for adults:
- Men age 19 and older: 90 mg
- Women age 19 and older: 75 mg
Primary sources of vitamin C include:
- Red pepper (1/2 c, chopped) – 95 mg
- Orange (1 medium) – 70 mg
- Kiwi (1 medium) – 64 mg
- Green pepper (1/2 c, chopped) – 60 mg
- Broccoli (1/2 c, cooked) – 51 mg
Other great sources include: sweet potatoes, strawberries, kale, and grapefruit.
Supplementing with vitamin C is a great way to ensure you are getting adequate amounts in your diet. If you are active, you most likely need more than the suggested doses listed above. I will sometimes supplement with 500 mg a day following my workout (be careful not to take it on an empty stomach). If I have fruit after my workout then I usually have an orange or some other type of citrus. You should check with your doctor before beginning any supplementation and/or if you are unsure of your dose.
Moving on – I wanted to share this yummy smoothie recipe I made for the girls recently using sweet potato and banana. Holy moly! It’s delicious and so creamy. I baked too many sweet potatoes and wanted to use them up so I kind of threw it all together. It was magnificent! I think I may have to start drinking these post workout. I used almond milk, but it might be fun to try a variation with orange juice.
Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie
- 1 large cooked sweet potato (skin removed)
- 1 large frozen banana
- 1 cup of almond milk (I used unsweetened)
- 1 heaping tablespoon of almond butter!
- 1 teaspoon of flax seed
- generous dash of cinnamon
- Toss everything in blender and blend until smooth.
Have a wonderful Thursday!