Journal of Applied Physiology

Oxidants and antioxidants in exercise

C. K. Sen


There is consistent evidence from human and animal studies that strenuous physical exercise may induce a state wherein the antioxidant defenses of several tissues are overwhelmed by excess reactive oxygen. A wide variety of physiological and dietary antioxidants act in concert to evade such a stress. Submaximal long-duration exercise training may augment the physiological antioxidant defenses in several tissues; however, this enhanced protection may not be sufficient to completely protect highly fit individuals from exhaustive exercise-induced oxidative stress. Regular physical activity in association with dietary habits that ensure adequate supply of a combination of appropriate antioxidants may be expected to yield desirable results. The significance of this area of research, current state of information, and possibilities of further investigation are briefly reviewed.