Before we get into the details of this subject, let’s take a look at Oxidative stress is a state in which the body makes too many reactive oxygen species (ROS) and doesn’t have enough anti-oxidant defenses to get rid of them.

Many things can lead to oxidative stress. These include being exposed to pollution in the environment, smoking, drinking alcohol, mental stress, and doing a lot of physical activity.Oxidative stress can cause many diseases, like heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and chronic inflammation and major cause of aging.

Oxidative stress is a type of oxidative damage to cells that happens when too many reactive oxygen species (ROS) are made or when the antioxidant defense system doesn’t work.

Oxidative stress has been linked to many diseases and is thought to be a major cause of aging.


Can be thought of as a difference between the systemic reactive oxygen species (ROS) are atoms, molecules, molecular fragments, and ions that are chemically reactive and contain oxygen.

ROS are made when your body breaks down oxygen normally. They play important roles in keeping your body healthy and running smoothly. But during times of environmental stress (like being in the sun or heat) or physical stress (like doing extreme exercises without planning to). ROS levels can rise, which can cause serious damage to cell structures. ROS can also be made by things like ionizing radiation (such as X-rays, gamma rays, and electromagnetic waves).  When a cell is exposed to enough ROS, it can trigger signaling pathways that lead to cell death. – ROS are involved in almost every aspect of life, such as reproduction and immune response. However, they are harmful when they are in high amounts and cause oxidative stress, which damages cells.

Changes in the normal reduction of oxidative stress (Redox) state of cells can lead to toxic effects through the production of O2-containing compounds and free radicals, which can harm living things by attacking macromolecules like lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids (DNA). This can cause diseases like stroke, heart attack, or cancer.

It is also very important for keeping the body from getting hurt by preventing and fixing any damage that may happen. The molecules of antioxidant enzymes are sensitive to oxidation, so they need a constant supply of oxygen to do their jobs in our bodies. There are two ways that oxygen gets to them:

  • By oxidizing their substrates, they provide oxygen to them
  • By eating oxygen, they remove it from the substrate.                                                                                                                                    – The oxidation of glucose can be stopped by the enzymes NADP-dependent xanthine oxidase (XO), xanthine dehydrogenase, and cytochrome c oxidase (CoQ). Xanthine dehydrogenase helps turn xanthine into uric acid and dihydroxypurines. Aldehyde oxidase helps turn oxaloacetate into pyruvic acid and acetaldehyde. A ferric iron-dependent enzyme called xanthine oxidase speeds up the conversion of xanthine to uric acid.                                                                            – -It also speeds up the conversion of hypoxanthine to inosine monophosphate (IMP) and guanosine monophosphate (GMP) (GMP). NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is turned into NAD+, while FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide) is turned into FADH2 (flavin-adenine dinucleotide)                                                                                                                                                                 -Aldehyde oxidase speeds up the process by which xanthine or hypoxanthine is turned into xanthosine nucleotides.                  -Decarboxylation changes xanthosines into uric acid, IMP, and GMP.
  • Glycolysis is a process inside of cells that turns glucose molecules into pyruvate molecules and water. In a reaction that needs ATP, hexokinase starts the process by converting glucose to phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP). Then, PEP reacts with oxaloacetate to make PYRUVATE, which is then broken down by NADH and FADH2 to make GTP and NADH + F ADH2. GTPs then breaks down into GDP + GDP, which gives the electron transport chain energy.
  • This is the only step of the pathway that happens outside of the mitochondria, which have three electron transport chains in different parts called complexes I, II, and III. NADH + FADH2GTP + GDP

One of the most important parts of the Krebs cycle is the last step, which takes place outside of the mitochondria.        

The last step actually takes place in three separate areas, each with its own electron transport chain.

-This is complex I, complex II, and complex III. The final electron transport chain in complex I is the most complicated and most common. When complex I oxidizes NADH, it makes the electron carriers NAD+ and H+ ions. These leave the mitochondria and go into the cytoplasm through a series of pumps that move hydrogen ions. The hydrogen ions can then be used to make ATP or can go into parts of the cell that need electrons to work properly, like molecules.

Most recent research shows that intense exercise causes the body to make more harmful substances, like free radicals, which can damage muscle tissue and cause inflammation and sore muscles. When you work out in cities or places with a lot of smog, you are also more likely to be exposed to free radicals.

Because free radicals cause diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis, aging, muscle soreness, inflammation, etc., it is best to exercise outside in fresh air based on the air quality . Some hormones that affect mood, memory, appetite, and how energy is used can also go up when you do aerobic exercise. Post-exercise oxygen consumption (PO2) measures how much oxygen the body uses during and after physical activity. A high level of PO2 means that your aerobic fitness is high. In other words, the more you work out, the better your body gets at using oxygen while you move, which means you need less time to recover and can do better.

How to know if your body has the right amount of oxygen ?

In biological systems, there’s a thin line between free radicals (oxidants) and antioxidants. Both are essential for turning food into energy. Moderate exercise is good for your health. Exercise increases the amount of oxygen you use, and too much exercise can create free radicals.

With just a little bit of exercise, the body can make a healthy amount of free radicals that help it turn food into energy. But too much exercise can make the body produce too many free radicals, which hurt the body and make it more likely to get sick.

Many studies have been done on the effects of exercise on free radicals, and they all show that moderate activity is healthy. But some people may need to slow down their daily activities as they get older, even if they haven’t reached the age of 50. A study done in 2009 found that exercise can help protect against chronic diseases like cancer, but it can also increase oxidative stress, which increases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia.

Different kinds of exercise have different benefits. A 2009 study found that aerobic exercise has the most benefits, while anaerobic exercise can raise the risk of cancer. Aerobic exercise includes jogging, swimming, biking, and dancing, among other things. Most of the time, the movement is done at a moderate pace for a long time. Aerobic activity is good for the body, but if you do too much of it, it can hurt you. Read more about the topic in our other articles.

When you play around with high and moderate intensity, you must plan your training ,recovery and food. When you stop exercising, your blood flow returns to normal and your tissues get oxygenated again. This re-oxygenation of tissues that were lacking oxygen still creates more free radicals than usual. As a result, the body has to work harder and for longer to get rid of the free radicals that were made during exercise. So, you see a faster rate of recovery in tissues that lack oxygen, like those that have been exercised.

In conclusion, the effects of the environment, physical strain, hormonal stress, psychological stress, radiation, and electromagnetic radiation on modern living have a negative effect on your body, which will show up in your health, fitness, and sports performance. To reverse or lessen the effects of oxidative stress, let’s talk about how we can get rid of free radicals.

The best way is with antioxidants, which are important for health and a key part of fitness.

Antioxidants: We need to eat antioxidants because they get rid of free radicals. They are also important for beauty, health, and sports performance , but they help us the most when we exercise.

What do anti-oxidants do:

  • These protect the cells from damage done by these unstable molecules.
  • Antioxidant nutrients are found naturally in a varied diet of unprocessed grains, vegetables, and fruit.
  • Some of these antioxidant nutrients are vitamins A, C, E, and some B vitamins, the minerals selenium, copper, and zinc, bioflavonoids, and other antioxidant phytonutrients.
  • A typical Western diet is low in antioxidant nutrients, which increases oxidative stress and damage.                                                  The body’s natural defenses against free radicals, called antioxidants, are overpowered, and cells are damaged. For example, red meat has a lot of fat oxidation products that can lead to free radicals. This leads to degenerative diseases like atherosclerosis, cancer, heart disease, and chronic inflammation and arthritis.
  • Antioxidants may also help protect DNA from damage caused by environmental pollutants like cigarette smoke, air pollution, or smokestacks from factories. [195] [196]

Antioxidants stop oxidation’s chain reactions:

A. Some antioxidants give away electrons to stabilize and neutralize the dangerous free radicals.

B. Some antioxidants attack the molecules that make free radicals and destroy them before they can start the chain reaction that causes oxidative damage. The molecules that create free radicals are at the center of the anti-oxidant chain reaction.

Antioxidants work to control the amount of free radicals in the body before they cause oxidative damage to the body. For example, some enzymes in the body, such as superoxide dismutase, work with other chemicals to turn free radicals into harmless molecules.

Dietary antioxidants help the body’s enzymes work better, and some studies show that a diet high in antioxidant-rich foods may lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants help keep free radicals from hurting cells and tissues in the body, and they also tell the immune system what kinds of free radicals are there. Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants found in food. Antioxidant supplements can be found in multivitamins, which usually contain a mix of different antioxidants.

Note, though, that antioxidant supplements don’t seem to help prevent chronic diseases. This suggests that these health benefits could come from other substances in fruits and vegetables or from a complex mix of substances.

While vitamins donate and take up ROS, minerals control how enzymes work. Antioxidants are more specifically vitamins, minerals, coenzymes, and herbs that help the body fight and prevent damage from toxins and free radicals. By doing this, they protect cells, the genetic code, and the immune system.

Trainers/coaches and fitness fans should listen to science, which has shown that athletes and people who work out for a long time or hard need more antioxidants than people who don’t exercise.

Usually, the body is able to make enough antioxidants to protect itself. But when we exercise for a long time or hard, our normal antioxidant production may not be enough to make sure that free radicals are neutralized. This can make you tired and have other bad effects that no one wants to feel. Antioxidants are found in a number of foods and supplements. To stop exercise-induced oxidative stress from happening, it’s best to eat a variety of antioxidant-rich foods and nutritional supplements before, during, and after exercise ( not the synthetic version )


  • After intense exercise, the body makes a lot of free radicals, and a good antioxidant formula can improve athletic performance, help the body recover from intense exercise, and support optimal immune function.
  • Free radicals can’t form if antioxidants are around.
  • Antioxidants protect lipids from peroxidation caused by radicals.
  • They are effective because they are willing to give up their electrons to free radicals.
  • When a free radical gets an electron from an antioxidant, it no longer needs to attack the cell, and the chain reaction of oxidation stops.
  • Using antioxidants is also a key part of recovery. Because antioxidants protect against cell and tissue damage, having enough antioxidants in the body will lead to less oxidative damage to muscles. (will make muscles feel less sore and help them recover faster after intense exercise)
  • Since high-intensity exercise can make more free radicals, antioxidant supplements may help during long aerobic activity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     TOP Top 10 Top 10 Antioxidants that are common : 

Alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E):

  • Fat-soluble antioxidant in the body; main defense against oxidation and lipid peroxidation (Superoxide anion radical, singlet oxygen, and PUFA radicals).
  • It’s hard to get enough vitamin E from the average diet, but supplements can make up the difference.
  • Foods that are high in vitamin E are vegetables

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid):

  • Antioxidant that dissolves in water and directly removes some free radicals and recycles vitamin E.
  • It may ease pain and speed up muscle strength recovery after intense exercise.
  • Vitamin C supplements can reduce the amount of muscle damage that happens during training. With less muscle damage, athletes may be able to train harder and achieve higher levels of performance.
  • Foods that are high in vitamin C are fresh fruits and vegetables. Scavenge (Superoxide anion Radicals, Hydroxyl Radicals )


  • Water-soluble precursor to vitamin A, but also an antioxidant on its own.
  • High-carotene foods include fruit, vegetables, and eggs.


  • Trace elements are important in the diet. It works through selenoproteins, some of which have antioxidant functions.
  • Includes enzymes like glutathione peroxidase, a powerful free radical scavenger.
  • Scavenge ( PUFA radicals, Singlet oxygen) ( PUFA radicals, Singlet oxygen)


  • Act as antioxidants by grabbing free radicals directly,
  • Chelating reactive elements like iron or stopping oxidizing enzymes from working.
  • No daily requirement for flavanoids has been set, but a balanced diet that includes fresh fruit, vegetables, tea, and a moderate amount of wine or grape juice is suggested.

Superoxide dismutase:

  • Together with another enzyme called catalase, it can disarm and destroy free radicals, especially O2.


  • It stops free radicals from doing as much damage and is very important for the health of cells.

Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone):

  • Is a “vitamin-like substance” that plays a well-known role in the electron transport chain (ETC).
  • CoQ10 is also said to have antioxidant effects.

Lactic acid:

  • The fermented products of lactic acid can be used as an antioxidant nutritional supplement for the elderly, babies, pregnant women, and people who don’t get enough food.
  • More importantly, the cheap fermented products can be used as a good source of protein in many developing countries where protein deficiencies are still a major health problem, especially for children.

Vitamin D

  • Given that vitamin D is known to help keep bones healthy and that it has recently been shown to help with immunity, inflammation, and preventing chronic diseases,
  • Recent research has shown that getting enough vitamin D may lower the risk of stress fractures, inflammation throughout the body, common infectious diseases, and bad muscle function.
  • However, more research is needed to find out if a lack of vitamin D makes an athlete more likely to get hurt.
  • Whether taking vitamin D supplements can change how athletes train and make them healthier and better at what they                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Take home message:
  • Exercise is important for a healthy life or to improve performance, but antioxidant-rich foods should also be a part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • The “common knowledge” that antioxidant treatment greatly improves exercise performance and recovery isn’t backed up by research.
  • Most studies with antioxidant supplements show that they have no effect on how muscles work during and after exercise.
  • The most promising studies about antioxidants and exercise have focused on vitamins C and E. It has been said that exercise reduces the production of free radicals and oxidation caused by exercise.
  • Have a periodized plan in which you combine high, medium, and low intensity based on your performance goals and cycle.
  • Always combine strategies for eating, sleeping, and recovering for the best results and to avoid burning out.
  • Think about a training environment that isn’t dirty.
  • Have a balanced, natural meal plan with macro and micro nutrients and the right supplement plan, especially for performance athletes or anyone who works out at higher intensities.


#Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement or doing any physical activity.

#Hire a fitness/performance expert with the right credentials, experience, and track record . 


  1. ScottK.Powers, Keith C DeRuisseau, John quindry & Karyn L .Hamilton (2003).Dietary antioxidant and exercise. JSS, 2004,22,81-94
  2. Andrea J.Braakhuis.Will F.Hopkins (2015).Impact on dietary antioxidants on sports performance . Springer International publishing switzerland 2015. Sport med Doi 10.1007/s40279-015-0323
  3. Sikiru Lamina,Charles I.Ezema, Anele I Theresa, Ezugwu U. Anthonia (2013). Effects of free radicals and antioxidants on exercise performance. Oxid antioxid Med Sci 2013;2(2): 83-91
  4. Cainara lins Draeger, Andreia Naves, Natalia Marques, Ana Bertize Baptistella, Renata Alves Carnauba, Valeria Paschola & Humberto Nicastro (2014) Controversies of antioxidant vitamins supplementation in exercises: ergogenic or ergolytic effect in human. JISSN 2014 ,11:4
  5. Priscilla M Clarkson and Heather S Thomson (2000). Antioxidants: what role do they play in physical activity and health. Am J clin nutr 2000;72 (suppl): 637s-46S.
  6. John M. Lawler , William S. Barnes , Gaoyao Wu, Wook Song and Scott Demaree(2002). Direct antioxidant properties of creatine . Biochemical and Biophysical Research communication 290, 47-52 (2002)
  7. Shawn M.Arnet, Joseph K . Pellegrino , Carey A. Williams , David A. Difabio and John C. Greenwood (2010). Nutritional supplementation, performance and oxidative stress in college soccer players. NSCA, JSCR 24(4) 1117-11124
  8. D.Enette Larson-Meyer & Kentz S. Wills (2010). Vitamin D and Athletes. Curr.Sports Med.Rep., Vol 9, No, pp. 220-226,2010


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *