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What is an antioxidant?

Wondering what an antioxidant is? As an athlete, they are essential to you.
Nutrition santé
Nutrition sportive
Qu'est-ce qu'un antioxydant ?

Antioxidants are molecules naturally present in certain foods. They play a very important role, especially for good recovery. Find out how antioxidants are essential in the life of an athlete.

Contents :

  • Antioxidants and free radicals
  • Antioxidants, athletes’ best friends
  • Foods rich in antioxidants

Antioxidants and free radicals

Antioxidants include vitamins, trace elements and micronutrients found in our daily diet. They help prevent many diseases and are essential for protecting your body's cells against free radicals. Their role is therefore to fight against the oxidation of the body which is created by the production of free radicals.

These free radicals are produced by our body and attach to other cells. Their presence is natural and essential in small quantities since they help fight viruses and microbes. However, too large a quantity of free radicals causes health consequences, namely cell degeneration, infections or even diseases such as cancer.

This imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability to neutralize these compounds forms what is called oxidative stress. In summary, too many free radicals in our body are the cause of tissue aging, eye aging, fatigue and circulatory or joint problems.

Certain factors increase the creation of free radicals in your body. First, foods like cooked meat, cold cuts, and fried foods containing saturated fatty acids as well as alcohol produce free radicals. On the other hand, pollution, stress, UV rays, smoking and inflammation are also sources of free radical creation. Finally, the attacks caused by sporting activity generate the production of free radicals which can destroy our cells and damage our body.

Antioxidants, athletes’ best friends

During your physical activity, you are subject to intensive and repeated muscle contraction, mild tissue inflammation, joint impact and the production of CO2 and lactic acid, which increases the production of free radicals, and can lead to poor health. recovery, fatigue or risk of injury.

This is why it is important to protect yourself from free radicals. For this, consuming a diet rich in antioxidants is necessary.

Considered one of the most powerful , astaxanthin is a 100% plant-based and natural antioxidant. It improves antioxidant capacity against several types of free radicals.

Foods rich in antioxidants:

Foods to fight free radicals are foods rich in antioxidants. Among them, we find apples, red fruits, citrus fruits, green vegetables, green tea, dark chocolate and legumes.

Zinc and selenium have exceptional oxidizing properties . Foods rich in zinc include seafood, whole grains and cheeses.

Favoring a healthy and varied diet will allow you to provide all the nutrients necessary for your body to function properly by fighting free radicals. Supplementing with antioxidant nutrients is even more important when you engage in intense physical activity.

Did you like this article? Find out all about glutathione , an antioxidant produced by the body.

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