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Transcript of “Combining antioxidants with exercise is not a health move”
You’re working on creating BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY – so you do what the gurus tell you to do
- you restrict your calories,
- exercise regularly
- eat lots of fruits and vegetables and
- just to be sure, you’re getting enough anti-oxidants, you take a vitamin C supplement.
After all, oxidative stress IS THE ENEMY !
Those electron crazed free radicals, create havoc inside cells……..
Making you old before your time and causing metabolic breakdowns.
I’ve got bad news…………..
Mixing antioxidants with exercise is NOT a health move.
In fact, by mixing the two, the antioxidant effectively cancels out, the benefit of the exercise sessions. All that pushing and pulling for NOTHING ! Ouch.
This is what a group of German researchers discovered, when they put two groups of men, through their paces.
The training sessions
40 healthy young men, were invited to participate in the study……….none of them were fat, but they varied in fitness.
- 20 were regular exercises, chalking about more than 6 hours of exercise a week. Wow !
- 20 were considered to be couch potatoes, since they were moving less than 2 hours a week
All volunteers were required to show up for a 4 week exercise programme, which involved 20 sessions of serious exercising
Each session began with
- A warm up (20 minutes)
- Then a 20 minute bike/run
- Then 45 minutes of circuit training
- Followed by a cool down (20 minutes)
In addition to this rigorous exercising routine ………..
Half of the guys in each group, also took antioxidant supplements. The antioxidant supplementation included
- 500 mg of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), twice a day
- 400 IU of vitamin E, once a day
To ensure, the non-supplement takers, did not feel left out, the team arranged for them to also take pills, but these pills were duds i.e. they had no antioxidants in them.
Exercising improves insulin sensitivity
When the team took both blood and muscles samples, at the start of the study, three days into the programme and shortly after the programme ended, they found…….
The pushing and pulling, improved insulin sensitivity, in those NOT taking the antioxidant supplement.
But, when the antioxidant was part of the mix, both the jocks and couch potatoes, saw no improvement in their insulin sensitivity. NO IMPROVEMENT !
Just under 2 hours of exercise, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks and NO IMPROVEMENT !
How could this be ?
Reactive oxygen species are not so BAD
Exercise, by it’s very nature, DEMANDS that your body, ups it’s game………….
Contracting muscles are working HARD. To work hard, they need ENERGY. And this energy requires the mitochondria to BURN fuel. The circulatory system must supply the fuel and the oxygen to facilitate THE BURN. When you’re burning more FUEL, you generate more energy crazed electrons.
Energy crazed electrons, better known as REACTIVE OXYGEN SPECIES are the bad guys !
So……………exercise actually causes more oxidation !
The benefits of less oxidation
Antioxidants snuff out these reactive oxygen species……
And when they’re gone, exercise stops being beneficial !
It’s rather counter intuitive, but these damaging free radicals are a good thing….
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
The reason, they keep cells on their toes.
The burst of ROS, must be taken care of, failure to do so, could have disastrous consequences, if it persists.
So…………the cell makes a plan.
The plan, involves assembling a crack squad of anti-oxidant enzymes, to take care of the damage.
Antioxidant supplements do the job
In the moment, so there is no NEED for the squad. Thanks to the pill, the oxidative stress problem, has been taken care of.
But, in the long run, you’re worse off……………………
You’re less prepared to deal with reactive oxygen stress.
And…………………….. those pesky electron crazed atoms are trouble, with a capital T.
Help your cells assemble a crack squad of antioxidant operatives, exercise LOTS and get your antioxidants from your diet, not a pill.
We’ve been told, anti-oxidants mop up free radicals. They might do this in a test tube, they don’t do it in your body, in your body they release free radicals.
Those nasty free radicals are needed to hit the appetite off switch in the brain. The obese don’t heed the message because of overactive anti-oxidant systems.
Insulin resistance happens when your cells hire a locksmith to change the locks on the glucose gates. Muscle building tires out the locksmith knocking out IR.