Antioxidants and Skeletal Muscle Performance: “Common Knowledge” vs. Experimental Evidence

Antioxidants and Skeletal Muscle Performance: “Common Knowledge” vs. Experimental Evidence

Antioxidants are assumed to provide numerous benefits, including better health, a reduced rate of aging, and improved exercise performance. Specifically, antioxidants are commonly “prescribed” by the media, supplement industry, and “fitness experts” for individuals prior to training and performance, with assumed benefits of improved fatigue resistance and recovery. This has provoked expansion of the supplement industry which responded by creation of a plethora of products aimed at facilitating the needs of the active individual. However, what does the experimental evidence say about the efficacy of antioxidants on skeletal muscle function? Are antioxidants actually as beneficial as the general populous believes? Or, could they in fact lead to deleterious effects on skeletal muscle function and performance? This Mini Review addresses these questions with an unbiased look at what we know about antioxidant effects on skeletal muscle, and what we still need to know before conclusions can be made.

In general, antioxidants such as vitamin C and E have been shown to be detrimental to exercise performance and adaptation.

image_pdf

Leave a Comment:

2 comments
ProudDaddy says July 28, 2015

Didn’t I read somewhere that antioxidants do NOT reduce the effects of resistance training in the elderly, and only in the elderly? Suppversity?

Reply
    P. D. Mangan says July 28, 2015

    The antioxidant/exercise thing is still unresolved. Studies report conflicting results. To be on the safe side, I recommend taking any vitamin C (if you take it) on rest days and during the fed state, not on (heavy) workout days or fasting days.

    Reply
Add Your Reply