The Importance of Antioxidants in Fitness
When we think of athletes and active people, we certainly don’t think of exercise being dangerous to their health. It makes sense that active people would be healthier than sedentary ones. The truth is, exercise and strenuous physical activity can increase our oxygen consumption in order to meet our energy demands.
This causes “oxidative stress” that leads to the generation of free radicals.
What are free radicals?
Free radicals are organic molecules responsible for aging, tissue damage, and possibly some diseases such as cancer. Oxidation occurs when free radicals damage cells in the body. Free radicals can enter our bodies in a variety of ways including tobacco smoke, toxins, pollutants as well as from a poor and inadequate diet. Antioxidants, which are found in fruits and vegetables, can help to neutralise free radicals in our bodies.
Athletes are at risk from free radicals
When an athlete’s training intensity is increased, the body’s cells are at an increased risk from the damage produced by free radicals. Studies have shown that both strength and endurance athletes produce more free radicals than untrained individuals.
The key to success
Of course, sticking to a well structured training programme is the best way for athletes to obtain successful outcomes but it is necessary to combine this training with an adequate diet and antioxidant nutritional supplements to assist with post-event recovery and overall wellbeing.