If you’re an endurance athlete, you might want to consider cutting back a bit on the supps.
By Amy Schlinger
Vitamins C and E may play an important role in disease prevention, but if you’re an endurance athlete, you might want to consider cutting back a bit on the supps. Researchers in Oslo asked 54 healthy men and women (mostly runners and cyclists) to take either 1,000mg of vitamin C and 235mg of vitamin E a day or a placebo and then complete a tough 11-week training program with one to two interval sessions and two hour-long runs. All participants were fitter at the end of the study period, but only those taking the placebo had increases in biochemical markers associated with the creation of mitochondria (important energy centers of cells). “Training causes oxidative stress, but it seems this same stress has a role to play in muscle adaptation,” says Leslie J. Bonci, R.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sports Medicine. “As antioxidants, vitamins C and E may block oxidative stress and therefore blunt the positive training benefits.”