She Runs Eats Performs Spotlight on Vitamin C

A Spotlight on Vitamin C For Runners

March 10, 2022

Spotlight on Vitamin C for Runners

As a runner one of our key health goals is to stay healthy, avoid illness and infections so we can stick to our training programme and race schedule. Optimal Vitamin C status will support overall health, but in particular a few roles of Vit C, which could support a runner include:

  • Act as an anti-oxidant
  • Help protect against infections by supporting the immune system
  • Supports collagen production which is key for musculoskeletal health
  • Is involved in the energy production cycle
  • Supports iron absorption

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Spotlight on Vitamin C For Runners


An Overview of Vitamin C and signs of deficiency


How much Vitamin C do we need?


Food Sources of Vitamin C and how to optimise Vitamin C in your food plan.


How may Vitamin C support a runner?


Vitamin C as an anti-oxidant.


The role of vitamin C and the immune system.


Vitamin C and Collagen production.


Do I need to supplement with Vitamin C? Will it support my running performance?


Can Vitamin C support collagen production and recovery from injuries?


Can Vitamin C supplementation help to alleviate DOMS?


Choosing a Vitamin C supplement – what to consider.

Food Sources of Vitamin C

We advocate a FOOD FIRST Approach – so eating lots of vitamin rich food on a day to day basis will be important however there may be some cases when supplementing with Vitamin C is supportive.

Some of the best vitamin C rich foods include:

  • Citrus fruits: Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, lime
  • Berries: Black Currant, Strawberries
  • Tropical Fruits: Kiwifruit, Papaya, pineapple, Mango, Guava, cantaloupe melon
  • Green leafy/Cruciferous vegetables; Broccoli, kale, parsley, brussels sprouts, spinach, watercress
  • Red and green peppers, tomatoes
  • Offal – liver

Fruits and Vegetables are best eaten raw to maximise their nutrient value as preparation, cooking and exposure to oxygen can reduce the vitamin C content by about 25%.

So you can see there are lots of opportunities to get Vitamin C in your day to day food plan especially if you eat a rainbow of colourful fruits and vegetables every day and follow the suggestion of ½ plate of vegetables or salads at each meal (equates to 7-9 portions) and 2 portions of fruit per day.


Spotlight on Vitamin C For Runners

  1. Vitamin C is an essential water-soluble nutrient, humans can’t produce it or indeed store it in our bodies, so we need to get it from our diet.
  2. It’s vital to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day to maximise our food intake of Vitamin C.
  3. Optimal Vitamin C status will support the overall health of a runner including acting as an anti-oxidant, supporting the immune system, collagen production, iron absorption and energy production.
  4. Muscle strength and function are not influenced by vitamin C supplementation. However, individuals with a poor vitamin C status may benefit most from supplementation and in turn this may support running performance.
  5. Runners may benefit from supplementation following an injury or to support recovery when following and intensive training programme (may help with energy and DOMS).
  6. Supplementing between 500mg and 2000mg per day may be supportive and the Tolerable Upper Level is 3000mg per day.

Further Reading

FACTS on Vitamin C

Antioxidants and Exercise Performance: With a Focus on Vitamin E and C Supplementation

Efficacy of Vitamin C Supplementation on Collagen Synthesis and Oxidative Stress After Musculoskeletal Injuries

Recent Progress in Applicability of Exercise Immunology and Inflammation Research to Sports Nutrition


One of our favourite VITAMIN C supplements is from  YOUR ZOOKI – their vitamin C is in a small sachet and comes in 2 flavours – Watermelon and Citrus.

ONE Sachet delivers 1000mg of Vitamin C and there’s also some Vitamin E added which we have learned today appears to work well with Vitamin C.

It’s very easy to consume – straight from the sachet or add it to water of a smoothie or yoghurt.

All of YOUR ZOOKI products are delivered via ‘Lipo-shield’ which is special lipid emulsion that we wrap the nutrients in, they form a protective barrier around the nutrients, helping to deliver them through the digestive system.

We both use YOUR ZOOKI supplements and really love them …

If you’d like to give YOUR ZOOKI a try use our special discount code- RUNNERSHEALTHHUB20

When added at checkout, this discount code will provide you and your friends and family with 20% off the entire Zooki range, including bundles and subscriptions. Let us know if you enjoy Your Zooki Vitamin C.

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The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

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