Background and aims:
During the last years it has evolved more and more interest in taking antioxidant supplementation to potentiate the effects of exercise and this is in despite of that this is an area of the human physiology that still has many unanswered questions. In this review we try to summarize what the litterature says about the effects of antioxidant supplementation on adaptation to training.
We did two searches in PubMed, focusing on both endurance training and resistance training. This resulted in 12 articles based on 11 studies which passed our inclusion criterias. All 11 had studied endurance training, but two of them had also integrated resistance training in their training and testing regime. 10 of the studies were done on humans, 2 on rats, of which one were combined.
The studied supplements were vitamin E and C, quercetin, melatonin, Coenzyme Q-10, selenium and multivitamin supplements. The most of the litterature done up to date concludes that there is no significant effect of taking antioxidant supplementation on adaptation to training. One interesting exeption is a study on endurance training supplementing male elite cyclists with a multivitamin supplement also containing quercetin.
We need more research on this specific area to be able to conclude whether antioxidant supplementation can play a role in training adaptation or not. So far it is not possible to recommend people to take supplements on a general basis.