Antioxidants are one of the most important (if not THE most important) part of sports nutrition and health.
Here is the paradox of exercise: There is no doubt about the many health benefits of exercise. However, exercise is also a major source of free radicals. This makes sense if you think about it, because exercise is just an accelerated version of your normal metabolism. If you recall, just the normal acts of breathing and making energy create free radicals. Therefore, the more breathing and energy creating your body has to do, the more free radicals are produced and the more oxidative stress (damage) is being done to your cells. So ironically, this exercise that you've been doing to improve your health is also damaging it at the same time.
The more intensely you exercise, the more free radical damage is being done to your body. That's why you hear about the marathon runner who drops dead of a heart attack. Everyone is so surprised. "He was so healthy and exercised all the time" they think to themselves. Unfortunately, it was likely the intense exercise that led to his early demise. If he had educated himself on the importance of antioxidants in sports nutrition and health first...
It's the free radical damage that also leads to the wear-and-tear injuries. Because the area of the body that is used the most is generally exposed to the most free radical damage and is the first part to wear out. For example, if you're a mogul skier, you're using your knees pretty intensely. What's usually the career-ending injury of a mogul skier? You guessed it- knees.
That's also why those who were very active in sports when they were younger get osteoarthritis in their knees and hips so much younger than their less active peers. Especially if they have continued to be active into adulthood. They've accelerated the "normal" wear-and-tear on their bodies.That's my story: I was into just about every sport when I was growing up. You know how it is when you're young... you abuse your body and barely slow down for injuries, etc. I have continued to play semi-competitive basketball since high school. When I hit my 30's, my knees started to bother me. I did not expect that at such a young age. Let me tell you, it's a humbling experience to realize that you may not be able to do things to your full potential for much longer.
Great! Another excuse to not exercise right? Wrong!
What you need to do instead is realize the importance of antioxidants in sports nutrition and health. The benefits of exercise far outweigh the risk of free radical damage. Because here's the thing: free radical damage can be prevented or at least reduced significantly.
Just like antioxidants prevent oxidative stress in everyday life, they do in exercise also. The more intensely you exercise, the more antioxidants you need.
Supplementing is the best way to make sure you're getting enough antioxidants to offset the oxidative stress from exercise. You would have to do a lot of planning and eat a HUGE amount and variety of foods to get enough antioxidants from your diet for proper sports nutrition and health. Even then, it couldn't be done- you'd have to eat so much that you'd become obese, which kind of defeats the purpose of exercising and antioxidants for your health, doesn't it?
Of course, most antioxidants come from fruits and vegetables. And if you're like most people, you're lucky if you get the minimum of 5 servings a day, let alone 10 or 15! And even if you did, you still wouldn't get enough antioxidants. For example, you would need to eat 33 pounds of spinach (or 5 pounds of wheat germ) everyday just to get the amount of vitamin E your body needs. Good luck with that!
If you're an elite athlete (or exercising with the same intensity), you definitely need to supplement with antioxidants. There's no way you could possibly get enough through your diet. And that's just antioxidants- you can't possibly get all the OTHER nutrients your body needs for that elite level from diet alone either (but that's beyond the scope of this website).
Here's the link<<
>>to a good website with pretty specific information about what nutrients your body needs and why. It's kind of technical, but very thorough.
For a less technical explanation, go to this site. Here's how they describe their site: "An information source for getting quality information on health and nutrition. We strive to increase awareness about the benefits and importance of vitamins and supplements, eating natural foods and engaging in regular exercise. The end result is an improvment in the quality of life."
Supplementing in sports nutrition and health is a tricky business though. If you're competing at all, you have to be really careful what you take because you don't want to risk testing positive for a banned substance. Unfortunately, the quality of most supplements available is pretty poor and therefore not trustworthy. I go into detail about this on my antioxidant supplements page.
I have discovered a high-quality antioxidant supplement that also has all the other nutrients your body needs for sports nutrition and health. And here's something cool: the company is so confident in their quality that they have a million dollar guarantee that you will never test positive for a banned substance as a result of their supplements. As far as I have been able to find, no other company will guarantee that. Because of this, they have many world-class athletes taking their products, including many Olympic athletes. That's pretty impressive!
To continue my story: Since I've started these supplements, my knees no longer bother me, I have better endurance than my (much!) younger teammates and I recover much faster from injury. Aside from the other health benefits I've noticed, it's been worth it just to get rid of the knee pain!
Unfortunately, I'm not able to tell you the name of it on my website because of legal reasons. Click here to get the name of it delivered right to your e-mail. Why go through all that tedious research when I've already done it?
So please, continue exercising. Just use proper sports nutrition and health and protect your cells first.
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