New research suggests that taking vitamins after exercise may negate some of the beneficial effects of your workout.
Some advocate taking antioxidants like vitamin C and E to help protect your body from the harmful chemical byproducts it creates when you sweat. But some scientists now think these ‘free radicals’ may actually be good for you and even protect against diabetes – meaning mopping them up with antioxidants may do more harm than good.
Antioxidant vitamins are thought to prevent the damage caused by oxidative stress to your body’s tissues by eliminating the free radicals that cause it. Oxidative stress has been implicated in several major diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
But a research team claimed that free radicals can have a positive effect on your body by increasing its sensitivity to insulin, something that is lost in type 2 diabetes; this effect is blocked by antioxidant vitamins.
Reacting to the study, antioxidant expert Dr. Alexander Schauss said the title of the study (Antioxidants prevent beneficial health effects of exercise in humans) was misleading. He said:
“The main objective of this study was to investigate the effect of an intensive 4-week, 5-day-a-week exercise program on insulin sensitivity. Yet the title of the article suggests otherwise. .
This is a small gender-specific study of 40 male subjects, ages 25-35. When I first read the study, I wondered how the authors had come up with such a title for their article? »
In addition to questioning the design of the study, particularly regarding trained and untrained people assigned to an intensive exercise program, Dr. Schauss also questioned the conclusions drawn from the data. Dr. Schauss said:
“Skeletal muscle biopsies were obtained from the right vastus lateralis muscle of the study subjects. But some data are missing for a number of subjects, and reported as such by the authors.
Dr. Schauss also noted that the authors presented no evidence of adverse effects by any of the individuals from vitamin C and E supplementation.