The aim of the present study was to investigate whether 2 weeks of vitamin C supplementation affects recovery from an unaccustomed bout of exercise. Sixteen male subjects were allocated to either a placebo (P; n = 8) or vitamin C group (VC; n = 8). The VC group consumed 200 mg of ascorbic acid twice a day, whereas the P group consumed identical capsules containing 200 mg of lactose. Subjects performed a prolonged (90-min) intermittent shuttle-running test 14 days after supplementation began. Post-exercise serum creatine kinase activities and myoglobin concentrations were unaffected by supplementation. However, vitamin C supplementation had modest beneficial effects on muscle soreness, muscle function, and plasma concentrations of malondialdehyde. Furthermore, although plasma interleukin-6 increased immediately after exercise in both groups, values in the VC group were lower than in the P group 2 hours after exercise (p < .05). These results suggest that prolonged vitamin C supplementation has some modest beneficial effects on recovery from unaccustomed exercise.
Dylan Thompson, Clyde Williams, Stephen J. McGregor, Ceri W. Nicholas, Frank McArdle, Malcolm J. Jackson and Jonathan R. Powell
Jonathan M. Peake
Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is involved in a number of biochemical pathways that are important to exercise metabolism and the health of exercising individuals. This review reports the results of studies investigating the requirement for vitamin C with exercise on the basis of dietary vitamin C intakes, the response to supplementation and alterations in plasma, serum, and leukocyte ascorbic acid concentration following both acute exercise and regular training. The possible physiological significance of changes in ascorbic acid with exercise is also addressed. Exercise generally causes a transient increase in circulating ascorbic acid in the hours following exercise, but a decline below pre-exercise levels occurs in the days after prolonged exercise. These changes could be associated with increased exercise-induced oxidative stress. On the basis of alterations in the concentration of ascorbic acid within the blood, it remains unclear if regular exercise increases the metabolism of vitamin C. However, the similar dietary intakes and responses to supplementation between athletes and nonathletes suggest that regular exercise does not increase the requirement for vitamin C in athletes. Two novel hypotheses are put forward to explain recent findings of attenuated levels of cortisol postexercise following supplementation with high doses of vitamin C.
Sheila A. Kopp-Woodroffe, Melinda M. Manore, Christine A. Dueck, James S. Skinner and Kathleen S. Matt
Chronic energy deficit is one of the strongest factors contributing to exercise-induced menstrual dysfunction. In such cases, macro- and micronutrient intakes may also be low. This study presents the results of a diet and exercise training intervention program, designed to reverse athletic amenorrhea, on improving energy balance and nutritional status in 4 amenorrheic athletes. The 20-week program provided a daily sport nutrition supplement and 1 day of rest/week. The intervention improved self-reported energy intake (El) and balance in all participants. The program increased protein intakes for the 3 athletes with a protein deficit to within the recommended levels for active individuals. Micronutrient intakes increased, as did serum concentrations of vitamin B12, folate, zinc, iron, and ferritin. These results indicate that some amenorrheic athletes have poor nutritional status due to restricted Els and poor food selections. A sport nutrition supplement may improve energy balance and nutritional status in active amenorrheic women.
Richard D. Telford, Edward A. Catchpole, Vicki Deakin, Alan C. McLeay and Ashley W. Plank
Blood indicators of eight vitamins (
Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Dan Benardot and Marian Nelson
The nutrient intakes and dietary practices of elite, U.S. national team, artistic female gymnasts (n = 33) were evaluated using 3-day food records. The gymnasts' reported energy intake was 34.4 kcal/kg (total 1,678 kcal/day), which was 20% below the estimated energy requirement. The contributions of protein, fat, and carbohydrate to total energy intake were 17%, 18%, and 66%, respectively. All reported vitamin intakes, except vitamin E, were above the RDA. The reported mineral intakes, especially calcium, zinc, and magnesium, were less than 100% of the RDA. The overall nutrient densities of the subjects' diets were higher than expected. Eighty-two percent of the gymnasts reported taking nonprescription vitamin and mineral supplements, and 10% reported taking prescription vitamin and mineral supplements. Forty-eight percent of the gymnasts reported being on a self-prescribed diet. Compared to NHANES III, the reported nutrient intake of these gymnasts was different from that of the average U.S. adolescent female. In summary, certain key nutrients such as calcium, iron, and zinc should be given more attention to prevent nutrient deficiencies and subsequent health consequences.
Kentz S. Willis, Nikki J. Peterson and D. Enette Larson-Meyer
A surprisingly high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency has recently been reported worldwide. Although very little is known about vitamin D status among athletes, a few studies suggest that poor vitamin D status is also a problem in athletic populations. It is well recognized that vitamin D is necessary for optimal bone health, but emerging evidence is finding that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of autoimmune diseases and nonskeletal chronic diseases and can also have a profound effect on human immunity, inflammation, and muscle function (in the elderly). Thus, it is likely that compromised vitamin D status can affect an athlete’s overall health and ability to train (i.e., by affecting bone health, innate immunity, and exercise-related immunity and inflammation). Although further research in this area is needed, it is important that sports nutritionists assess vitamin D (as well as calcium) intake and make appropriate recommendations that will help athletes achieve adequate vitamin D status: serum 25(OH)D of at least 75 or 80 nmol/L. These recommendations can include regular safe sun exposure (twice a week between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the arms and legs for 5–30 min, depending on season, latitude, and skin pigmentation) or dietary supplementation with 1,000–2,000 IU vitamin D3 per day. Although this is significantly higher than what is currently considered the adequate intake, recent research demonstrates these levels to be safe and possibly necessary to maintain adequate 25(OH)D concentrations.
Hans Braun, Karsten Koehler, Hans Geyer, Jens Kleinert, Joachim Mester and Wilhelm Schänzer
Little is known about the prevalence and motives of supplement use among elite young athletes who compete on national and international levels. Therefore, the current survey was performed to assess information regarding the past and present use of dietary supplements among 164 elite young athletes (16.6 ± 3.0 years of age). A 5-page questionnaire was designed to assess their past and present (last 4 weeks) use of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrate, protein, and fat supplements; sport drinks; and other ergogenic aids. Furthermore, information about motives, sources of advice, supplement sources, and supplement contamination was assessed. Eighty percent of all athletes reported using at least 1 supplement, and the prevalence of use was significantly higher in older athletes (p < .05). Among supplement users, minerals, vitamins, sport drinks, energy drinks, and carbohydrates were most frequently consumed. Only a minority of the athletes declared that they used protein/amino acids, creatine, or other ergogenic aids. Major motives for supplement use were health related, whereas performance enhancement and recommendations by others were less frequently reported. Supplements were mainly obtained from parents or by athletes themselves and were mostly purchased in pharmacies, supermarkets, and health-food stores. Among all athletes, only 36% were aware of the problem of supplement contamination. The survey shows that supplement use is common and widespread among German elite young athletes. This stands in strong contrast to recommendations by leading sport organizations against supplement use by underage athletes.
Sun H. Kim and Carl L. Keen
An excessive use of vitamin/mineral supplements is considered by many to be a common health problem. We surveyed 1,355 adolescent boys and girls attending athletic high schools in Korea for their usage patterns of vitamin/mineral supplements. The usage rate of the vitamin/mineral supplements was 35.8%. The most favored supplements were vitamin C, multivitamins, and calcium. The reasons most cited for taking supplements were "to recover from fatigue," and "to maintain health." Vitamin and mineral intakes occurred over a wide range; mean intake values were typically higher than the Korean RDA. Vitamins B , B12 and C were consumed in very high amounts at 29.7,17.9 and 11.1 times the Korean RDA, respectively. When the intakes of nutrients from supplements and diet were combined, it was observed that the intakes of niacin, folic acid, vitamin C, and iron exceeded levels that have been proposed as upper safe limits. The above data underscore the need to provide sound nutritional education to athletic adolescents and their coaches with respect to the use of vitamin/ mineral supplements and the links between adequate diet, good health, and physical performance.
Rachel A. Hildebrand, Bridget Miller, Aric Warren, Deana Hildebrand and Brenda J. Smith
Increasing evidence indicates that compromised vitamin D status, as indicated by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D), is associated with decreased muscle function. The purpose of this study was to determine the vitamin D status of collegiate athletes residing in the southern U.S. and its effects on muscular strength and anaerobic power. Collegiate athletes (n = 103) from three separate NCAA athletic programs were recruited for the study. Anthropometrics, vitamin D and calcium intake, and sun exposure data were collected along with serum 25-OH D and physical performance measures (Vertical Jump Test, Shuttle Run Test, Triple Hop for Distance Test and the 1 Repetition Maximum Squat Test) to determine the influence of vitamin D status on muscular strength and anaerobic power. Approximately 68% of the study participants were vitamin D adequate (>75 nmol/L), whereas 23% were insufficient (75–50 nmol/L) and 9%, predominantly non-Caucasian athletes, were deficient (<50 nmol/L). Athletes who had lower vitamin D status had reduced performance scores (p < .01) with odds ratios of 0.85 on the Vertical Jump Test, 0.82 on the Shuttle Run Test, 0.28 on the Triple Hop for Distance Test, and 0.23 on the 1 RM Squat Test. These findings demonstrate that even NCAA athletes living in the southern US are at risk for vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency and that maintaining adequate vitamin D status may be important for these athletes to optimize their muscular strength and power.
Robert E. Keith, Michael H. Stone, Ralph E. Carson, Robert G. Lefavi and Steven J. Fleck
Fourteen trained male anabolic steroid-using bodybuilders (SBBs) (19-41 years) were recruited for the study. Three-day diet records were obtained from SBBs and analyzed. A resting venous blood sample was drawn, and serum/ plasma was subsequently analyzed for various nutritionally related factors. Results showed that mean dietary energy (4,469 ± 1,406 kcal), protein (252 ± 109 g), and vitamin and mineral intakes of SBBs greatly exceeded U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowances. Dietary cholesterol intake was 2.8 times the recommended levels. Mean serum/plasma nutrient concentrations of SBBs were within normal range. However, individual SBBs had a number of serum/ plasma values outside of the normal or recommended range, the most notable of which was hypercalcemia, which was present in 42% of SBBs. Serum/plasma lipids were such as to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in these subjects.