Food for Thought: A Little Vitamin C Makes a Big Difference

by: Cynthia Sass December 29, 2011

TENNIS.com

As a sports nutritionist who works with professional and competitive athletes, including tennis players, I’m always on the lookout for tips and tricks that give my clients an edge. An in my 10-plus years of practice, not a week goes by that we don’t learn more about how particular foods and nutrients help the body operate like a well-oiled machine. Each one of your body’s 100 trillion cells relies solely on what you eat and drink to fuel your performance and help you recover. And while sports nutrition isn’t an exact science, there are plenty of tried and true techniques every tennis player should know.


The 20 Things You Need to Know About Nutrition


15. A Little Vitamin C Makes a Big Difference
Researchers at Arizona State University discovered that vitamin C’s role goes beyond fending off sniffles. This powerhouse nutrient can build stamina and squash a spare tire because the amount in your blood stream is related to your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel, both at rest and during exercise. Men in the study with low vitamin C levels burned 25 percent less fat during a treadmill test compared to those with adequate vitamin C. The link: C is essential for the production of carnitine, a nutrient that helps turn fat into a useable fuel source. This domino effect delays fatigue—each gram of fat packs nine calories, compared to four in carbohydrate. Vitamin C-rich foods include peppers, broccoli and citrus fruits.

More:

1. Your Diet Impacts Your Brain Function
2. The Right Breakfast Fights Hunger All Day
3. Food Can Fight Pain
4. Don't Run on Empty
5. Sleep Matters ... A Lot
6. Omega-3s Are Beyond Essential
7. Milk Does More Than Double Duty
8. Don't Get Fooled by the Afterburn Myth
9. Organic Food is Worth the Extra Money
10. Alcohol May Weaken Muscle
11. Relying on the Sun for Vitamin D May Be a Mistake
12. Spices are a Secret Weapon
13. Chocolate is a Key Superfood
14. Buyer Beware When it Comes to Supplements
15. A Little Vitamin C Makes a Big Difference
16. Variety Trumps Quantity for Fruits & Veggies
17. Drinking Water May Help You Lose Weight
18. Bacteria Are Critical to Your Health
19. Calcium Isn't Just for Strong Bones
20. Let an Expert Personalize Your Plan


Originally published in the January/February 2012 issue of TENNIS.

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