Dietary antioxidants for the athlete
Physical exercise induces oxidative stress and tissue damage. Although a basal level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is required to drive redox signaling and numerous physiologic processes, excess ROS during exercise may have adverse implications on health and performance. Antioxidant nutrients may be helpful in that regard. Caution should be exercised against excess antioxidant supplements, however. This article presents a digest for sports practitioners. The following three recommendations are made: 1) it is important to determine the individual antioxidant need of each athlete performing a specific sport; 2) multinutrient preparations, as opposed to megadoses of any single form of nutrient, seem to be a more prudent path to choose; and 3) for outcomes of antioxidant supplementation, performance should not be the only criteria. Overall well being of the athlete, faster recovery, and minimization of injury time could all be affected by antioxidant therapy.
KeywordsSelenium Lipoic Acid Excess Reactive Oxygen Species Antioxidant Supplementation Dietary Reference Intake
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References and Recommended Reading
- 1.Sen CK, Packer L, Hänninen O: Handbook of Oxidants and Antioxidants in Exercise. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2000. A comprehensive treatise on the subject designed for readers who are new to the subject or who are looking for itemized "take home" messages.Google Scholar
- 37.US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Agriculture:Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 2005.Google Scholar