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Muscle Recovery! Heal Thyself!


Whether you’re doing simple sit-ups or super-sets of squats, vitamin C helps repair damaged muscles and more.

Every CrossFitter, bodybuilder, runner and backyard warrior knows that strenuous physical activity takes a toll on your muscles, as well as your critical connective tissues such as ligaments and tendons. And whether you’ve been weightlifting or weeding, your body makes you pay in full.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), those wonderful morning-after aches and pains that punish you for working your body too hard, is just one indication of muscle and connective tissue damage. DOMS is your body yelling at you, “Hey! Back off and give me a chance to recover!”

But why do our bodies hurt after intense work or workouts? How can we help them recover faster? How can we strengthen and protect them from further damage the next time? As with any question dealing with human physiology, the first response is always, “Well, it’s complicated.” But without question, vitamin C is a big part of the complete answer.

Normal muscle work lengthens and contracts the cells that make up your muscle fibers, as well as those of the tendons and ligaments connected to them. As the intensity of the work exceeds the normal demands on these tissues, they become literally stretched to the breaking point.

Intense work actually causes tiny tears in muscle and connective tissues. Cell membranes are weakened or breeched. Toxic metabolic by-products build up in the tissues. Blood rushes to the stressed muscles to re-supply oxygen and critical nutrients. It’s a mess. The immediate results are tissue swelling and – Voila! – DOMS.

However, your body’s biochemical response to this damage not only repairs these tissues, but also makes them stronger in order to handle the higher intensity of work the next time. In other words, building muscles actually begins with a destructive process.

Your body needs a lot of help to repair this damage. There are four main components of muscle recovery:

  • Restoring fluids and electrolytes – This is the main reason why you see “sports drinks,” such as Gatorade, at nearly every sporting event on the planet.
  • Restoring glycogen – This is the body’s secondary long-term energy reserve (the primary reserve is fat) that can be tapped quickly when the body, especially the muscles, requires fuel to do work.
  • Restoring muscle proteins – These are the building blocks of many cell structures.
  • Reducing tissue and immune stress – This is where vitamin C plays an important role.

The physical stresses caused by intense work and sports training not only damage muscles and initiate DOMS, they also temporarily suppress your body’s immune system. Vitamin C has been shown to help the body recover more quickly from three major types of physical stress.

  • Mechanical stress – Vitamin C triggers the production of collagen, which helps repair the tiny tears in individual muscle, tendon and ligament cells.
  • Oxidative stress – Almost every time the body uses oxygen molecules they release electrons and become “free radicals.” These unstable and harmful little guys steal back electrons from muscle cell membranes thereby causing damage via “oxidative stress.” Vitamin C is a powerful “antioxidant” that donates electrons to free radicals and stops them from further damaging muscle cells.
  • Immune stress – Cortisol is a hormone that is excreted by the adrenal gland in response to all forms of stress. The mechanical stress of intense physical work releases loads of cortisol, especially as the body’s supply of energy (glycogen) begins to run out. In addition to being linked to muscle damage, cortisol also suppresses immune system function (for between 2 and 72 hours) by decreasing the production of lymphocytes and antibodies. That makes your body more susceptible to any bugs that happen to be floating by. Fortunately, vitamin C has been shown to help boost the body’s immune system to counteract this effect.

Altrient™ C has an additional advantage over ordinary vitamin C, which further aids in muscle recovery. Altrient™ C features a Liposome Encapsulated Delivery system that transports high-potency vitamin C into your bloodstream, throughout your body and to your cells much faster than ordinary vitamin C.

However, the same liposomes that protect Altrient’s vitamin C and ensure its high bioavailability also nourish damaged cell membranes. The damaged cells consume the “essential phospholipids” in the liposomes to repair themselves. This releases the vitamin C from inside the liposomes directly into the damaged cell where it can do the most good.

Taking vitamin C right after strenuous work or workouts can reduce DOMS and help repair damaged muscles. Altrient™ C can add an extra dimension to your muscle recovery program by getting more high-potency vitamin C (and essential phospholipids) to precisely where they’re needed – faster than any other form of oral vitamin C.