Antioxidants (beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E) have been promoted to enhance performance and to reduce the muscle damage that routinely occurs from exercise.

Research Results:

The work on the effect of antioxidants on performance has been mixed.

Performance Studies:

In general, supplements do not seem to provide additional benefits for athletic performance in well-nourished individuals. In vitamin C-deficient individuals, physical performance was improved with vitamin C supplementation. Some studies have shown that vitamin E supplementation improves performance at altitudes of 5000 and 15,000 feet.

Muscle Damage Studies:

Only small studies on antioxidants and muscle damage have been reported, and they have not been well-controlled. Some studies suggested that vitamin E reduced certain byproducts that are "markers" for muscle damage. Others found that vitamin C alleviated muscle soreness. More research is needed to confirm the role of antioxidants in exercise-induced muscle damage.

Return to Supplement Guide

Take Our Survey


We need your help! Periodically we conduct a survey of our visitors and use the results to help guide our planning process for future programming. We really want to know what you think, and your answers will help us improve the Shape Up America! organization. Please take a few minutes to share your questions, thoughts and ideas. Your responses will be kept strictly confidential.

Btn Click Here

Donate to SUA


Please consider a donation to Shape Up America! Your tax-deductible contribution helps us develop new initiatives to address the problem of obesity in America.

Btn Click Here