Supplemental Vitamin C Appears to Slow Racing Greyhounds

Supplemental Vitamin C Appears to Slow Racing Greyhounds

During strenuous exercise, markers of oxidation increase and antioxidant capacity decreases. Antioxidants such as vitamin C may combat this oxidation stress. The benefits of vitamin C to greyhounds undertaking intense sprint exercise has not been investigated. The objective of this experiment was to determine whether a large dose (1 g or 57 mmol) of ascorbic acid influences performance and oxidative stress in greyhounds. Five adult female, trained racing greyhounds were assigned to receive each of three treatments for 4 wk per treatment: 1) no supplemental ascorbate; 2) 1 g oral ascorbate daily, administered after racing; 3) 1 g oral ascorbate daily, administered 1 h before racing. Dogs raced 500 m twice weekly. At the end of each treatment period, blood was collected before and 5 min, 60 min and 24 h after racing. Plasma ascorbate, α-tocopherol, thiobarbituric acid-reducing substances (TBARS) and Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) concentrations were measured and adjusted to compensate for hemoconcentration after racing. TBARS, TEAC and α-tocopherol concentrations were unaffected by supplemental vitamin C. Plasma ascorbic acid concentrations 60 min after racing were higher in dogs that received vitamin C before racing than in dogs that either received no vitamin C or received vitamin C after racing. The dogs ran, on average, 0.2 s slower when supplemented with 1 g of vitamin C, equivalent to a lead of 3 m at the finish of a 500-m race. Supplementation with vitamin C, therefore, appeared to slow racing greyhounds.

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