Vigorous exercise may worsen the symptoms of respiratory disorders such as cough or sore throat in some individuals but a new study suggests that increasing the vitamin C intake could offer quick relief.
A meta-analysis of 3 studies found that vitamin C significantly reduced post-exercise airway, or the tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs, obstruction in those who participated in the study and suffered from exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, or the constriction of the airways in the lungs due to the tightening of surrounding smooth muscle.
“It seems reasonable for physically active people to test whether vitamin C is beneficial on an individual basis, if they have documented exercise-induced bronchoconstriction or suffer from respiratory symptoms such as cough or sore throat after taking vigorous exercise,” said Harri Hemila from the University of Helsinki in Finland.
The researchers found that an intake of vitamin C quickly led to a reduction in post-exercise large-airway obstruction and small-airway obstruction after their study conducted on 12 participants.
Hemila carried out an analysis of a study on the participants who had asthma and aged on average 26 years, and suffered from exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.
This study was supplemented with five other studies, which examined subjects who were under short-term, heavy physical stress and a meta-analysis revealed that vitamin C reduced the incidence of respiratory disorder symptoms by half.
Another trial showed that vitamin C halved the duration of the respiratory disorder symptoms in male adolescent competitive swimmers too. The study has been published in the journal Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology.