With the Canadian summer in full force, we need to focus on hydrating, keeping our energy up and staying generally healthy. Although it’s always best to maintain our health with a proper diet and by drinking lots of water, our modern lifestyles do not always allow time for us to consume the full spectrum of foods we need and to drink enough water. With that in mind, we should always be supplementing our diets with Vitamin C and staying well hydrated.
The actual amount of Vitamin C we require on a daily basis has been a matter of debate for quite a while. We’ve all heard the stories of early sailors whose journeys had to be cut short due to scurvy. Time spent at sea was limited until the British discovered that scurvy could be avoided by bringing citrus fruits onboard; hence the term “Limeys” for our English friends.
Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, which is the intercellular glue that keeps the skin, lungs, arteries, digestive tract and all other organs intact. It is a potent anti-oxidant that protects against free radicals, pollution, carcinogens, heavy metals and other toxins. It is strongly anti-viral and mildly anti-bacterial. Energy cannot be made in any brain or muscle cell without an adequate supply of Vitamin C. It is also essential for the adrenal glands to have a high concentration of Vitamin C for stress hormone synthesis. So how important is Vitamin C? Vitamin C is central to so many chemical reactions in the body that without it, life would simply not be possible.
The question of whether it’s best to ingest supplements as liquids or tablets has been debated for a while. In Europe, it is generally accepted that vitamins and supplements should be taken in liquid form. The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a report which stated that in order for calcium to be absorbed in sufficient quantities, it must be taken in a liquid form. The liquid vs. tablet debate is now being studied for Vitamin C. It is generally accepted that the gastrointestinal tract works much harder processing pills than it does liquids. It is reasonable to infer that a liquid form of Vitamin C is much more acceptable, or bioavailable, to the body than in pill form. Taking Vitamin C in liquid form becomes even more important in the summer months when we all tend to become more dehydrated than usual.
Perhaps one of the most important functions of keeping hydrated is ensuring that our electrolytes are kept in balance. Electrolyte is the medical and scientific term for salt, or more specifically, ions. Electrolytes are important because your cells (especially nerve, heart, and muscle cells) use them to maintain electrical communication across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (e.g. nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. Your kidneys work to keep the electrolyte concentrations in your blood constant despite fluctuations in your body. For example, when you exercise heavily, you lose electrolytes in your sweat, particularly sodium and potassium. The same also occurs when you are sick with the flu. When you are ill with the flu or a cold, your kidneys have a harder time keeping up with the body’s demands for electrolytes, hence the experienced feelings of mental sluggishness and achy bones and muscles. These electrolytes must be replenished to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids at an appropriate level.
One of the benefits of Vitamin C in the form of mineral ascorbates is that it is made up of several electrolytes, specifically potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium. It is important to note that as spring comes alive and summer is around the corner, we must focus on constantly maintaining and replenishing our electrolytes. The more we sweat, the more we need to drink fluids that will replenish out electrolytes. When looking to supplement your electrolytes, try and stay away from sugary, artificially flavoured, and coloured sports drinks. Try to stick with a naturally occurring mineral ascorbate Vitamin C that comes in powdered form. Currently, the only product available that comes in this form is Ener-C™, which comes in five deliciously effervescent flavours.
One of the most important electrolytes is potassium. It takes on a positive or negative charge to help regulate blood pressure and muscle contractions, and generally keeps your bodily processes working correctly. In fact, when you feel a little sluggish, supplement with 200 mg of potassium and you may feel an energy boost. Potassium’s other role in the body is to help metabolize sugar to glycogen to provide energy for your daily tasks. Glycogen may be stored in the muscles and liver and released when the body calls for it. Thus, another benefit of potassium is to help your body store energy for later use without converting it to fat.
So as the summer continues, look for Ener-C™, a mineral ascorbate Vitamin C that contains B vitamins, as well as the all-important electrolytes: potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium. Drinking Ener-CTM will help ensure that you are getting all you can out of your body this summer.
By Richard Pollock