The effects of antioxidant supplementation on athletic performance; a systematic review of trials in trained athletes


Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstractpeer-review


Strenuous physical exercise increases oxidative stress and causes disruptions in homeostasis. Several studies indicate that exercise‐induced muscle damage and delayed‐onset muscle soreness is related to an imbalance in redox status. The antioxidant system acts to limit these harmful effects. Antioxidant supplementation has been proposed to optimise training and enhance sporting performance, by increasing the ability of the body to moderate the associated risks of oxidative stress. Antioxidant supplementation can potentially reduce the subsequent damage and fatigue, resulting in improved training adaptation and athletic performance. This systematic review investigated the current literature to determine if antioxidant supplementation had any effects on the athletic performance of trained individuals. Three electronic databases (SPORTDiscus, Medline and PubMed) were searched using key words and phrases to identify all published relevant randomised controlled trials. Methodological quality and risk of bias was assessed using the 11 criteria PEDro scale. To date, eight studies have been published reporting antioxidant supplement interventions in trained individuals. Three articles observed significant improvements to performance in the antioxidant trial groups, compared to placebo. All the studies scored moderate to high quality on the PEDro quality scale. Current data suggests inconsistent effects of antioxidants on athletic performance. Future work should aim to reduce heterogeneity in study design, including increasing the number of participants and ensuring methodological practices minimise potential bias. These measures are necessary to clarify the findings of current studies, allow for better translation of research into practice and ultimately understand if antioxidants have a role to play in improving athletic performance
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event34th National Conference Dietitians Association of Australia: Cultivating Fresh Evidence - Hobart, Hobart, Australia
Duration: 18 May 201720 May 2017


Conference34th National Conference Dietitians Association of Australia

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