Cortisol is an important hormone in the body, secreted by the adrenal glands and is involved in a myriad of functions such as proper glucose metabolism, blood pressure regulation, immune function, digestion and inflammatory response to name a few.
Despite these positive functions cortisol is also known as the ‘Stress Hormone’ as its secreted in higher levels during the body’s fight or flight response to stress. A small amount of cortisol is beneficial in some scenarios where a quick burst of energy is needed for survival reasons, it can lower sensitivity to pain and can help maintain homeostasis in the body.
If cortisol levels stay too elevated for too long it can be damaging. Chronically elevated levels can lead to catabolism (the process by which tissues in the body are broken down). Ideally levels will fall within a normal range after training but sometimes levels can stay high. Vitamin C can help lower elevated levels after training.
Recent studies have shown that taking Vitamin-C before or after a workout can help minimise catabolism and help recovery. The belief is 1000-3000mg per day but make sure you take 1000mg before or after you train.
Another bonus is Vitamin-C may have testosterone raising effects which can be good for building more muscle !!!