Can You Improve Your Athletic Peformance with Antioxidants?

Do Antioxidants Improve Athletic Performance?

A new study suggests that an antioxidant diet including Vitamin E, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C may help athletes to improve their athletic performance…

Background:

A recent study explored the effects of supplementation with:

  • 500 mg/d Vitamin E
  • 30 mg/d beta-carotene
  • 1 g/day vitamin C

on maximal blood lactate concentrations and VO2max performance indices after 90 days of supplementation.

Study design:

“The effects of antioxidant diet supplements on blood lactate concentration and on the aerobic and anaerobic thresholds and their adaptations to training were analysed. Fifteen amateur male athletes were randomly assigned to either a placebo group or an antioxidant-supplemented group (90 days supplementation with 500 mg x day(-1) of vitamin E and 30 mg x day(-1) of beta-carotene, and the last 15 days also with 1 g x day(-1) of vitamin C).”

Results:

“At the end of the study, maximal blood lactate concentration was lower in the group that took supplements than in the placebo group. The percentage of VO(2max) attained at the anaerobic threshold rose significantly in both groups after 3 months of training, although the final value in the supplemented group was higher than that in the placebo group.

Study conclusions:

Antioxidant diet supplements induced lower increases in blood lactate concentration after a maximal exercise test and could improve the efficiency in which aerobic energy is obtained.

Reference:

  1. Aguiló A, Tauler P, Sureda A, Cases N, Tur J, Pons A.  Antioxidant diet supplementation enhances aerobic performance in amateur sportsmen.  J Sports Sci. 2007 Sep;25(11):1203-10.