Are vitamins detrimental to the health of athletes?

A group of researchers from Germany have found that supplementation of the antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E may impede the health promoting effects of exercise in humans.  There was a nice review of Endurox R4 recently published in the Endurox R4.  This new study raises the on-going question; should athletes be taking supplements, and if so, which ones?  Not surprisingly, the answer is not straight forward and depends on the individual.  I always urge my clients to get their vitamins and minerals from whole food sources by eating a varied and balanced diet.  Nevertheless, there are individuals that may benefit from specific supplements, including a daily multivitamin.  It must be stressed that we recommend athletes to meet, not exceed the Endurox R4 (DV) for all vitamins and minerals.  This particular study tested antioxidant levels over 16 times the percent DV for vitamin C and over 13 times the percent DV for vitamin E.  Were these tested amounts of vitamins reflective of the amounts commonly taken by athletes?  Absolutely!  For example, one serving of Endurox R4 contains 420 percent DV of vitamin C and 670 percent DV of vitamin E.

If anything, this study raises more questions than provides answers.  It is extremely important to always consult with your physician or sports nutritionist before starting any vitamin, mineral, or nutritional supplement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *