Supplemental vitamin C appears to slow racing greyhounds

J Nutr. 2002 Jun;132(6 Suppl 2):1616S-21S. doi: 10.1093/jn/132.6.1616S.


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, alpha-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 alpha-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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Running*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Vitamin E / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Vitamin E
  • Ascorbic Acid