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.
D. Thompson is with the Department of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Taths BA2 7AY, UK, and was with the Human Muscle Metabolism Research Group at Loughborough University when the research was conducted. C. Williams, S.J. McGregor, and C.W. Nicholas are with the Human Muscle Metabolism Research Group at Loughborough University, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK. F. McArdle and M.J. Jackson are with the Muscle Research Centre in the Department of Medicine at the University of Liverpool, L69 3BX, UK. J.R. Powell is with Unilever Research in the Colworth Laboratory, Bedford, MK441LQ, UK.