Tom Ballard, ND's blog


Dangers of exercise
December 28, 2009, 9:18 am
Filed under: Commentary | Tags: , , ,

Runners, weight lifters, and other heavy exercisers are doing themselves many favors, but they need to know they are increasing their oxidative stress by increasing production of free radicals. They should therefore protect themselves with antioxidants.

Oxidation is the same reaction that occurs when butter and other fats go rancid. In your body oxidation causes destruction of cells. High levels are triggered by infections, environmental toxins, stress, and exercise.

Oxidation is counteracted by antioxidants. Vitamins A, E, C, and D are natural antioxidants as are the phytonutrients in vegetables and fruit. This is probably one reason fruits and vegetables are shown to be protective against diseases associated with oxidation – cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic inflammatory conditions.

While many athletes know the value of protein, especially whey, for increasing muscles, few realize their workout is increasing their need for antioxidants from vegetables and fruits. The USDA recommends five to seven one-half cup servings of vegetables and fruit daily. Since these recommendations are for average activity, athletes would benefit from eating fifty to one-hundred percent more. For those unable to consume that many fruits and vegetables, I suggest one serving of GreensFirst or Red Alert, each with the equivalent of ten antioxidant servings of fruits and vegetables.

Enjoy your exercise, but don’t forget to fortify yourself with antioxidants.

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