Vitamin C Supplement Is Key To Reducing THIS Stress Hormone


Research by Gleeson and Davison, (2006) recognises the importance of vitamin C for overall health and wellbeing, as well as the role of vitamin C in reducing total cortisol levels, particularly after exercise induced stress.

The exercise : stress relationship

Seems funny how most of us go to the gym because it relieves tension and stress, so why on earth is exercise and stress mentioned in the same sentence? Well, too much of anything is usually a no no, and exercise is no exception to this rule. Exercise is a very important stimulus for health and wellbeing, it is crucial for inducing physiological improvement… so long as there is adequate recovery time!

Rest and recovery time is critical for a plethora of psychological and physiological reasons, chief among these reasons is the need to keep stress hormones at bay. Exercise places strain on the body, this is necessary to invoke physiological change and adaptation, but if stress hormones such as cortisol are allowed to elevate, then several health problems can follow. One of the main problems is overtraining syndrome which is a condition that sees an otherwise health conscious individual become poorly. The person may suffer with central nervous system fatigue which is responsible for feelings of lethargy, low mood, emotional stress and fatigue, irritability and an increased risk of injury.

Vitamin C and stress hormone control

Cortisol is an important stress hormone, but it needs to be controlled. If levels are high due to excessive exercise, then rest is the first course of action. If low mood and wellbeing persists then it may be that better dietary measures need to be implemented, starting with a balanced, nutrient dense diet that is rich in antioxidants… particularly vitamin C.

Gleeson and Davison, (2006) established that vitamin C supplementation over time increases plasma antioxidant capacity and attenuates (reduces the effect) the cortisol response to exercise. Basically, the better your vitamin C level, the lower the damaging effect cortisol has on your body.


Gleeson, M & Davison, G. (2006). The effect of 2 weeks vitamin C supplementation on immunoendocrine responses to 2.5 h cycling exercise in man. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 97(4)

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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