Antioxidants protect the body against cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals basically cause damage in the body. The muscles, joints and other inflammation. Free radicals play a role in the aging process and various other health problems. That's where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants attacks these free radicals and help prevent the damage that occurs when these free radicals are left to cause damage.
Various antioxidants, such as vitamin E, have been found to be useful in the treatment of some forms of arthritis and in dealing with the oxidative stress of exercise. Exercise can cause more free radical damage. All the more reason that fitness enthusiasts should take these supplements. The overall benefits of antioxidants are too long to mention here. You name it, antioxidants can help.
Normally free radicals are produced at a low rate and nullified by antioxidant enzymes in the body. If you exercise often, the normal output by your body might not be enough. You can always increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Superfoods like green foods and super fruits like mangos teen and acai are very strong antioxidants and can be of benefit. Below is a list of a few antioxidants and their benefits.
One of the more common antioxidans is Vitamin C Vitamin C has been touted as a benefits for those that exercise. This is due Vitamin C reducing the exercise induced inflammation and cortisol increase. Research shows that it could help reduce pain as well. Vitamin C supplementation would be a benefit for those who exercise on a regular basis.
Coenzyme Q10 or Co Q10 is a potent antioxidant that is great for the heart and blood vessels. Co Q10 is great for blood vessel tone and is often recommended by doctors for patients that are taking prescription cholesterol medications. These medications decrease the body's levels of Co Q10 making it a vital supplement for those people.
Alpha Lipoic Acid:
Alpha lipoic acid or ALA is another potent antioxidant that helps with a myriad of things. Alpha lipoid acid is known to recycle other antioxidants like vitamin C andvitamin E ALA also recycles glutathione, which is antioxidant that detoxifies the liver.
Alpha lipoic acid is also good for inflammation and helps lower cortisol production. ALA is popular in the anti-aging community in that it can help with skin elasticity.
Other benefits of ALA include increased insulin sensitivity, increased growth hormone and IGF-1 production, and diabetic neuropathy or nerve regeneration.
That's just the very tip of the iceberg when it comes to antioxidants. There are many more that I haven't touched on. Antioxidants can decrease cell damage, help your body recover, decrease fatigue, and ultimately maximize athletic and exercise performance and body composition.