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Exercise-Induced Oxidation

Physical exercise is associated with an increase in oxidation in the body (which contributes to fatigue, but also mediates beneficial adaptations to exercise), and ingestion of some antioxidant supplements may reduce oxidation and are thought to prolong endurance.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect exercise-induced oxidation
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b Minor Moderate See all 4 studies
Mixed effects on exercise-induced oxidation, but there appears to be some potential for CoQ10 supplementation to reduce oxidation.
grade-b Minor Very High See all 5 studies
A decrease in the exercise-induced increase in MDA levels is seen with carnitine supplementation, possibly secondary to reducing damage to muscle tissue. The degree of MDA reduction is not overly remarkable
grade-c Notable - See study
A decrease in exercise induced oxidation is noted with MSM supplementation and thought to be the underlying reason for reductions in muscle damage and soreness. The degree of reduction seems to be notable, as the increase in MDA and protein carbonylation were fully abolished
grade-c Notable - See study
The oxidation induced by exercise is effectively diminished with resveratrol, which is thought to underlie the inhibitory effects on exercise-induced adaptations.
grade-c Minor - See study
Exercise induced oxidation has been noted to be increased in elite athletes with fish oil supplementation
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in the oxidation that occurs during exercise may occur following acute ingestion of green tea catechins
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
Related to the antioxidative effects, a reduction in exercise-induced oxidation has been noted
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on oxidation biomarkers that are increased during exercise
grade-c - - See 2 studies
Highly mixed interactions with the exercise:oxidation axis with Vitamin C, with both increases and decreases being noted. Unlikely to have a reliable role
grade-d Minor Very High See 2 studies
The increase in oxygenation during exercise can be attenuated by supplementation of cocoa flavanols taken prior to exercise.
grade-d - - See study
The lone study using a 2.5 hour running protocol at 72% VO2 max failed to find any significant differences between groups in oxidative status after exercise.