The importance of antioxidants for athletic performance

Step Chain
3 min readAug 11, 2021


Many athletes take supplements to boost their health, and if you are training to become an athlete, you might wonder which supplements are the best for you. While there are many, antioxidants are commonly consumed among athletes. This is because they have lots of benefits for athletic performance and can be found in natural resources. If you would like to understand the importance of antioxidants for athletic performance, read this article.

What are the benefits of antioxidants for athletes?

Antioxidants are considered one of the most commonly used supplements by athletes other than protein powders. This is because they can make recovery time shorter and faster. This means that athletes will spend less time resting and be able to train more. Doing so will help increase their overall skills, including strength, speed, and endurance.

Training intensely can stimulate free radicals damaging the cells and leading to a prolonged recovery time. This is where antioxidants become useful; they work on reducing the free radicals in the body. Therefore, consuming antioxidants will help combat free radicals, which reduce the time needed for recovery. It was noted that athletes who have plant-based diets rich in natural antioxidants have shorter recovery times than athletes who consumed animal products.

The problem of antioxidant supplements

As we mentioned, antioxidants can enhance athletic performance. However, according to research on antioxidant supplements, these can have some disadvantages. Some scholars even said that supplements could inhibit the body’s natural healing processes. In addition, supplements cannot prevent death related to heart problems., supplements do not fulfill the same roles natural antioxidants have.

Plant-based sources of antioxidants

If you are looking for natural sources of antioxidants, then these plant-based sources are for you:

1- Beets

Beets are rich in betalains which are a unique phytonutrient group. These have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beets can also improve blood flow which is excellent for providing muscles with oxygen during physical activity.

2- Cacao

Cacao is the bean out of which chocolate is made. It has been linked to improved blood flow. It is said that theobromine is found in it that widens the blood vessels to help more blood flow to the muscles.

3- Berries

Berries are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that are necessary for athletes. They can be added to pre-workout smoothies to boost performance. Frozen berries also have high antioxidants and can be kept for a more extended period of time.

4- Cherries

Cherries can also play a role in improving the athletic performance of individuals, especially runners. For example, in a study on a group of long-distance runners, it was found that runners who consumed tart cherry juice over a period of 5 days prior to the marathon and two days after the marathon experience a reduction in inflammation and a faster recovery pace, especially in isometric strength tests, compared to the other group who didn’t consume any cherry products.

So are you ready to start incorporating antioxidants in your diet for better performance?




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