Why Vitamin C is Even More Important in the Summer Than in The Winter


Vacations are essential periods of rest that can range from a few hours to several weeks. They provide an opportunity to relax and recharge, whether during the summer months or the colder months. The concept of vacation has evolved significantly over the years, transitioning from simple periods of rest to more adventurous pursuits. This evolution impacts our adrenal health, especially concerning essential nutrients like vitamin C and its numerous health benefits, such as immune system support and skin health [1][2][3].

Evolution of Vacations

Historically, vacations were times for rest, often associated with agrarian activities. Today, they have become more about escaping the daily grind of the white-collar world. Vacations now serve as a necessary phase for maintaining eustress, reinforcing rest, and adjusting the neuro-immune system. There is a growing trend towards adventure vacations, reflecting a desire to escape modern life's stress and seek new, thrilling experiences [4][5][6].

The Shift from Rest to Adventure

The affluent classes of Renaissance Europe longed for novel summertime adventures. This longing led to the concept of summering—extended stays at resorts away from home. With the advent of the railroad, travel time decreased, and the season of summer became synonymous with both escape and adventure. Wealthy families would retreat to mountain or seaside resorts, engaging in strenuous activities to enhance their stamina and well-being [7][8][9].

Historical Perspective

The shift in vacation motivations is evident as global demographics have changed. The ease of travel has allowed people to seek out diverse experiences, from historical site visits to adventure tourism. The term "vacation," derived from the Latin "vacatio," initially meant "free time" and has evolved to encompass periods of travel, relaxation, and recreation [10][11][12][13][14].

Factors Driving the Change

Safety and security have become paramount concerns for travelers, especially with international instablity. Ensuring a positive travel experience and managing stress are critical for modern vacations. Research by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) highlights key factors driving change in vacation preferences, emphasizing the importance of enjoying leisure activities and spending time on what we find meaningful [15][16][17][18].

Impact of Adventure and Stress on Rest

infographic about vitamin C

Vacations play a crucial role in balancing the stressful demands of modern life. Planned vacations can significantly enhance happiness and well-being by providing a break from daily routines and fostering a sense of renewal. However, the shift towards more adventurous vacations also introduces new stressors that can impact our overall health [19][16][20][21][22][23].

Physiological Response to Stress

Health recovery is essential for maintaining mental and physical well-being. Reducing stress and adrenal activity through active recovery methods is crucial. While weekend relaxation is beneficial, it is often insufficient, highlighting the need for well-planned vacations to achieve optimal health benefits [24][25][26].

Adrenal Health

Adrenal health is vital for managing stress. The adrenal glands produce hormones like cortisol that help the body respond to stress. Adequate rest and proper nutrition, including essential nutrients like vitamin C, are crucial for maintaining adrenal health [27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34].

Role of Adrenal Glands

The adrenal glands play an important role in producing hormones that manage stress. During periods of high stress, the glands produce more cortisol. Chronic stress can lead to adrenal fatigue, where the glands are unable to produce sufficient hormones, leading to various health issues [35][36][37][38][39][40].

Vitamin C Requirement in Times of Fatigue

Vitamin C plays a crucial role in adrenal health, and its requirement increases significantly during times of stress. During periods of stress, the body's requirement for vitamin C can increase by 10 to 20 times or more. This is because vitamin C is essential for the production of anti-inflammatory hormones, including cortisol, by the adrenal glands. Additionally, stress increases oxidative stress and inflammation, which depletes the body's vitamin C stores more rapidly. A study by Padayatty et al. showed that the adrenal glands secrete large amounts of vitamin C (up to 176 μmol/L) in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which stimulates the production of cortisol. This adrenal secretion of vitamin C precedes the release of cortisol, suggesting that vitamin C plays a crucial role in the stress response [41].

Importance of Vitamin C Supplements for Adrenal Health

Due to the significant increase in vitamin C requirements during stress, dietary intake alone may not be sufficient to meet the body's needs. This is where vitamin C supplements become important for supporting adrenal health and the body's stress response. Vitamin C enthusiasts like Dr. Linus Pauling, recommended supplemental doses of vitamin C during times of stress can range from 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg or more per day, taken in divided doses. These higher doses can help maintain adequate vitamin C levels in the body, support adrenal function, and combat the effects of oxidative stress and inflammation. It is important to note that those doses were only tested in clinical settings under the care of a healthcare provider and this article does not advocate for the use of mega vitamin C doses without the consultation of a healthcare provider [42][43].

Role of Bioflavonoids

Bioflavonoids, also known as vitamin P, are plant compounds that are naturally found alongside vitamin C in fruits and vegetables. They work synergistically with vitamin C, enhancing its absorption and bioavailability, as well as its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Bioflavonoids, particularly citrus bioflavonoids like hesperidin and rutin, have been shown to strengthen capillary walls and improve the therapeutic action of vitamin C. This is especially important for individuals experiencing stress, as it can help maintain healthy blood vessels and reduce the risk of bruising and other vascular issues. Furthermore, bioflavonoids have their own antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which can complement the actions of vitamin C in supporting adrenal health and the body's stress response. In summary, during times of stress, the body's requirement for vitamin C can increase significantly, necessitating the use of vitamin C supplements in combination with bioflavonoids to support adrenal health, combat oxidative stress and inflammation, and maintain overall well-being [41][44][45][42][46].

Oxidative Stress and Sun Exposure

Sun exposure, especially during the summer months, has both beneficial and harmful effects. While it can boost mood and vitamin D levels, excessive exposure can lead to oxidative damage and skin issues [47][48][49][50][51][52].

Understanding Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Free radicals can damage cells and contribute to aging, inflammation, and various diseases. Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, helps combat free radical damage by acting as a powerful antioxidant [53][54][55][56][57][58].

Vitamin C as a Protective Agent

Vitamin C is essential for healthy skin, collagen synthesis, and immune support. It helps protect the skin from environmental aggressors and UV damage, making it a critical component of skincare products. Using vitamin C serum can improve skin tone and reduce fine lines, promoting healthy, youthful skin [59][60][61][62][63][64].

Vitamin C can be a great help in reducing photosensitivity when used internally. It is important to consider the internal use of vitamin C as it can help build up the body's natural defenses against UV radiation, reducing the risk of sunburn and other forms of skin damage. Making sure to include vitamin C in your diet or through supplementation can be a crucial step in protecting your skin from the sun's harmful effects. It is important to note that Vitamin C is not a substitute for sunblock and it always reccomended to be combined with sunblock to enhance it's effects, not to replace it!

Optimizing Vitamin C Dosing

For optimal health, it is recommended to consume at least 1,000 mg of vitamin C for every hour of extreme stress totaling up to 3000 mg per day. High doses of vitamin C can be particularly beneficial during times of stress or illness. Those dosese were studied under the care of a healthcare provider [65][66][67][68][69].

Benefits of Vitamin C Supplementation

Vitamin C supplementation offers numerous health benefits, including improved immune system health, reduced inflammation, and better skin health. It supports collagen production, wound healing, and protects against oxidative damage [70][71][62].

The Role of Essential Vitamins in Health

Essential vitamins, such as vitamin D, vitamin E, and the B vitamins, play important roles in maintaining overall health. Vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin, is crucial for bone health and immune support. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin and other tissues from damage. B vitamins are essential for energy production and nervous system health [72][73][74][75][76].

Vitamin C in Skincare

vitamin C for skin

Vitamin C is a popular skincare ingredient due to its numerous benefits for skin health. It helps improve skin tone, reduces the appearance of fine lines, and protects against sun damage. Incorporating vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits and leafy greens into your diet, as well as using

vitamin C skincare products, can help maintain healthy skin [47][77][78]. The study "Protective effect against sunburn of combined systemic ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and d-alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E)" available on PubMed, discusses the role of vitamin C in reducing skin photosensitization. It investigates how vitamin C and vitamin E can protect against sunburn.

The study found that the combination of vitamin C and vitamin E significantly reduces the severity of sunburn by neutralizing free radicals generated by UV radiation and reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the skin. In conclusion, the study demonstrates that vitamin C, especially when used with vitamin E, can effectively reduce skin photosensitization and protect against sunburn by mitigating oxidative damage


Practical Tips for a Healthy Vacation

Sun Exposure and Protection

Moderate sun exposure is beneficial for vitamin D production and mental health. However, it is important to protect the skin from UV damage by using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing. Incorporating vitamin C serum into your skincare routine can also provide additional protection against sun damage.

Maintaining Adrenal Health

To support adrenal health, ensure you get enough rest, manage stress effectively, and consume a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients. Vitamin C supplements can help support adrenal function and overall health, especially during periods of high stress.

Staying Hydrated

Proper hydration is crucial for maintaining energy levels and overall health. Drinking enough water is especially important during vacations, as travel and outdoor activities can increase the risk of dehydration.

Balanced Nutrition

A balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals is key to maintaining good health. Foods like fatty fish, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and nuts provide essential nutrients that support the body's various functions.


The evolution of vacations from rest to adventure reflects broader changes in society and individual needs. While adventurous vacations offer new experiences and thrills, they also introduce new stressors that can impact health. Understanding the importance of adrenal health and the role of essential nutrients like vitamin C is crucial for maintaining overall well-being. By incorporating healthy practices, such as balanced nutrition, proper hydration, and adequate rest, into vacation plans, individuals can enjoy the numerous health benefits that vacations have to offer.


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