Antioxidant supplementation and endurance training: Win or loss?

Gross, Micah; Baum, Oliver; Hoppeler, Hans-Heinrich (2011). Antioxidant supplementation and endurance training: Win or loss? European journal of sport science, 11(1), pp. 27-32. Abingdon, UK: Taylor & Francis 10.1080/17461391003699088

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Typically, free radicals are thought of as perpetrators of cell damage, ageing, even cancer, whereas antioxidants are seen as the defence against these threats. Accordingly, antioxidants are among the most common sports supplements used by amateur and professional athletes. However, the sensibility of this practice has recently been challenged in the scientific literature. This article briefly summarizes both positive and negative physiological effects of free radicals and antioxidants, culminating with emphasis on the signalling roles played by free radicals during training adaptations and the ability of superfluous antioxidants to weaken these desired signals, as revealed in several recent publications. The aim of this article is not to explicitly condemn antioxidant supplementation by athletes, but to underscore complexity of the situation and to champion efforts to achieve a deeper understanding of circumstances (e.g. dosage, timing, and setting) that might deem antioxidant supplementation as either largely beneficial or largely detrimental for endurance athletes in training.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy

UniBE Contributor:

Hoppeler, Hans-Heinrich


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Taylor & Francis




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:19

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 01:45

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 211296)

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