Research has shown that long duration endurance exercise may lead to oxidative stress

By sports nutritionist Nilo Ghajar-Williams

MarathonHigh intensity, long duration exercise has shown to enhance oxidative stress (free radical damage) by increasing the production of reactive oxygen species and free radicals. This may contribute to muscle damage and soreness.

The antioxidants vitamin A (i.e. beta-carotene and retinol), vitamin C, vitamin E (tocopherol), and selenium are important for combating free radical damage and protecting cell membranes from oxidative damage. Food sources rich in antioxidants include fruits and vegetables rich in phytochemicals, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

References:

  1. Powers S.K., DeRuisseau K.C., Quindry J., & Hamilton K.L. (2004). Dietary antioxidants and exercise. J Sports Sci., 22, 81-94.
  2. Clarkson P.M. & Thompson H.S. (2000). Antioxidants: what role do they play in physical activity and health? Am J Clin Nutr, 72 (2), 637S-46S.
  3. Venderley A.M. & Campbell W.W. (2006). Vegetarian diets: nutritional considerations for athletes. Sports Med, 36(4), 293-305.