Antioxidants Interfere With Training Gains

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are highly reactive chemicals produced naturally during metabolism by the cell mitochondria (powerhouses of the cell). They are linked to delayed onset muscle soreness, fatigue, delayed recovery and cell damage. Many athletes take antioxidant supplements to suppress the activity of ROS. This is a mistake. A review of literature by Troy Merry and Michael Ristow from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland concluded that antioxidant supplements might interfere with positive adaptations to exercise. ROS act as signaling chemicals that affect mitochondria formation, immunity and blood sugar regulation. Antioxidant supplements interfere with blood vessel formation, insulin sensitivity, cell defenses, muscle hypertrophy and cell endurance adaptations. Antioxidant supplements do athletes more harm than good. (Journal of Physiology, published online December 7, 2016)

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