Antioxidants are chemicals such as vitamin C and vitamin E that reduce the effects of free radicals (reactive oxygen species) that damage tissues, promote muscle soreness and speed fatigue. Consuming antioxidant supplements has been a natural nutrition fad for more than 30 years. Many popular foods contain added antioxidants to boost their sales. However, many recent studies found that high antioxidant supplement consumption in the diet suppresses muscle protein synthesis, and can reduce the positive effects of exercise training. An article by Laura Beil concluded that athletes are better off getting their antioxidants from natural foods found in fruits, vegetables and grains, rather than from supplements.
Source: Science News, March 7, 2015