Swimming is one of the best ways to get in a cardiovascular workout that is non impact and builds muscle. The one down side is the effect of chlorine on your body, hair and clothes. Some people develop skin rashes, changes in hair color, hair breakage and even increased rates of asthma, cancer and throat irritation. Anybody who spends money on their hair color knows the stress of risking color damage due to chlorine. And nobody wants the more serious side effects previously mentioned.
This negative effect of chlorine is due to chloramines, the byproduct of chlorine in a pool.
Vitamin C is a neutralizes chlorine. The government recommends it for neutralizing chlorine in water systems because it is safe for sea-life and aquatic organisms.
A simple at home way to prevent the effects of chlorine is by making a solution of vitamin c (ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate ) and water to spray on your body and hair after exposure to chlorine you can reduce the side effects of chlorine.
You can add 1 tsp of the vitamin C to 8oz of water in a spray bottle and spray it on your body and hair after leaving the pool. Then jump in the shower. *this spray will only last for 24 hours, Vitamin C degrades in water pretty quickly so you can't keep around too long.
There are also products on the market which are shelf stable and claim to work better than at home solutions. You can add Swim Spray to your shampoo or body wash.
In addition to rinsing your body and hair with Vitamin C you can add it to the water when you rinse off your swim suits to give them a longer life.
A few other tips to protect yourself from chlorine are:
1. Wet your hair and put conditioner in your hair prior to putting on your swim cap, this will create a protective layer on your hair that will prevent absorption into your hair if water does penetrate the swim cap (which we all know it does)
2. Ladies with long hair - use a protective hair guard under your cap with a special swim cap for long hair. (you can find these on amazon)
3. Rinse your body before going into the water to help prevent chlorine from absorbing into your skin. You can also add a small layer of natural oil as avocado or coconut to create a protective barrier on your skin. Keep in mind some pools may not like that idea, oil in their pool is probably not a welcoming idea. These oils can also clog pours if you are prone to acne or breakouts think twice before covering yourself in coconut oil.
4. Try to avoid swimming indoors, the closed facility allows the chemicals from the chlorine to build up in the air affecting your lungs.