This study investigated if vitamin C supplementation before and after eccentric exercise could reduce muscle soreness (MS), oxidative stress, and muscle function. Eighteen healthy men randomly assigned to either a placebo (P) or vitamin C (VC) (3 g/d) treatment group took pills for 2 wk prior and 4 d after performing 70 eccentric elbow extensions with their non-dominant arm. MS increased in both groups with significantly reduced MS for the first 24 h with VC. Range of motion was reduced equally in both groups after the exercise (P ≥ 0.05). Muscle force declined equally and was unaffected by treatment. VC attenuated the creatine kinase (CK) increase at 48 h after exercise with similar CK after this time. Gluta-thione ratio (oxidized glutathione/total glutathione) was significantly increased at 4 and 24 h with P but VC prevented this change. These data suggest that vitamin C pretreatment can reduce MS, delay CK increase, and prevent blood glutathione oxidation with little influence on muscle function loss.
The authors are with the Exercise and Sport Science Dept, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro NC 27402-6170.