Featured Review: Antioxidants for preventing and reducing muscle soreness after exercise

Taking antioxidant supplements to reduce muscles soreness after exercise could have almost no effect, according to a recent Cochrane Review. 

People engaging in intense exercise often take antioxidant supplements, such as vitamin C and/or E or antioxidant-enriched foods, before and after exercise in the anticipation that these will help reduce muscle soreness. In a recent review from Cochrane Bone, Joint, and Muscle Trauma published in the Cochrane Library, researchers looked at evidence from 50 studies. These all compared high-dose antioxidant supplementation with a placebo and their participants all engaged in strenuous exercise that was sufficient to cause muscle soreness. The researchers found that high dose antioxidant supplementation, thus in excess of the normal recommended daily dose for antioxidants, does not appear to reduce muscle soreness early on after exercise or at one, two, three or four days after exercise. 

For more on this review, please see the full Featured Review story or listen to the podcast from the lead author.