Reduce Muscle Soreness and Pain with Vitamin C & E

According to research conducted at Tufts University, taking Vitamin E before a workout helps reduce pain and inflammation that after an intense exercise session.

Reuters Health (04/23/2002) – A dose of vitamin E may ease that stiff ache some of us feel after a bout of exercise, according to the results of a study in healthy men. The study’s authors believe the vitamin acts as an antioxidant, mopping up the damaging byproducts of a strenuous workout. While the very physically fit may not need extra vitamin E after exercise, “if you are one to experience a great deal of soreness and fatigue after a workout–especially those people who do not always exercise habitually–vitamin E might be of benefit to help combat soreness and exercise-induced stress,”said lead researcher Dr. Jennifer Sacheck, of Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. Exercise is one of the healthiest activities possible, but even exercise has its down side. As the body increases its use of oxygen, byproducts of oxygen metabolism–called free radicals–can do damage to muscle tissue. This damage can result in soreness and fatigue after strenuous exercise.

Additional studies show that a combination of both vitamins C and vitamin E combined work extremely well in reducing muscle soreness and pain in the joints post workout. One of my clients swears by this protocol.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is necessary for collagen synthesis and is a strong antioxidant. Research on vitamin C shows that it may have important effects in reducing pain and inflammation secondary to exercise. In one study 400 mg daily of vitamin C reduced post exercise pain and inflammation. In another the use of vitamin C increased recovery from demanding exercise.

Vitamin E: As well as being an antioxidant, vitamin E, has been demonstrated to reduce exercise induced muscle damage and muscle damage pain in arthritic patients. As shown in studies, both vitamin C and E are important in treatment of arthritic conditions, possibly by reducing oxidative stress. And both of these vitamins are also helpful in reducing muscle soreness secondary to exercise.

What supplements do you take to help ease muscle soreness after a tough workout?