If you think that vitamins, particularly antioxidants such as A, C and E help maximise your workouts, think again.

There’s emerging evidence that antioxidant supplements may adversly effect:

Insulin benefits of exercise
“One previous small study found that trained and untrained people who dose up on antioxidant supplements impair important exercise training adaptations such as improved insulin sensitivity and production of special proteins that actually help defend the body against oxidative stress caused by exercise,” says Tim Crowe, Associate Professor in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University and founder of Thinking Nutrition.

Oxidative stress during and after a workout
“Now researchers have extended this study by looking at the effect of antioxidants in trained female runners,” says Crowe. “The study, which was published in the European Journal of Sports Science, found that when blood was measured, the markers that indicated oxidative stress were found to actually be higher in those taking the vitamin C.” Though it is not clear why, it is yet more proof that we don’t really understand how supplements may work differently to food in our bodies, nor are we really across the many different lifestyle impacts supplements may have on everything from sleep and stress to exercise.

Image: Thinkstock


NEXT: Check out our guide to supplements to discover the scoop.