What foods contain antioxidants

Find out which foods contain antioxidants, how to protect your body from free radicals, improve workout performance, and speed recovery.

What foods contain antioxidantsWhat foods contain antioxidants

Scientists claim that consuming antioxidants for several months can reduce susceptibility to infections and speed up recovery from exercise. We will find out which foods contain antioxidants, what are their benefits and how to provide the body’s daily need for these compounds.

A well-planned training program improves fitness and health, but vigorous training accelerates the formation of free radicals. They can damage skeletal muscle and contribute to muscle fatigue during training.

Fortunately, our body is able to defend itself against free radicals in a natural way – with the help of enzymes and other compounds that have antioxidant properties. Exercise increases the activity of these enzymes, but at the same time, high volume and high intensity training overloads the natural antioxidant defenses.

Vital organs such as the heart are less protected by antioxidants, making them more susceptible to free radical damage. Therefore, scientists continue to study the benefits of consuming antioxidants with food.

The most important antioxidants for athletes are vitamins C, E and beta-carotene.

Beta carotene

Beta-carotene belongs to the class of carotenoids and helps stimulate the enzymes responsible for detoxification, protects against free radical damage and strengthens the immune system.

As little as 30 mg of beta-carotene has been shown to significantly enhance protection against oxidative stress during intense exercise.

The content of beta-carotene in foods (mg / 100 g)









Rose hip




Bulgarian red pepper


Combining beta-carotene with vitamins C and E increases its ability to reduce post-workout muscle damage and improve respiratory function. This oxygen cocktail reduces susceptibility to respiratory infections by 40%.

To naturally increase your beta-carotene intake, choose store-bought fruits and vegetables that are yellow, red, and orange.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C is present in every cell of the body, performing several essential functions. These include neutralizing free radical molecules and protecting muscles from damage during intense training.

In healthy trained individuals, supplementation with vitamin C does not increase performance during exercise. At the same time, with a lack of vitamin C, the effectiveness and performance of training is significantly reduced. In addition, scientists have found that athletes who practice heavy endurance training have a higher need for vitamin C in the body than others.

Vitamin C content in foods (mg / 100 g)

Rose hip


Black currant


Sea buckthorn








White cabbage




Be aware that vitamin C overdose causes diarrhea and abdominal pain, among other problems, so be careful with supplements. Do not forget that sports nutrition often contains this vitamin. If you want to increase your intake naturally, try to have 50% fruits and vegetables in every meal.

Scientific research shows that people who consume at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day are most immune to free radical attack.

Vitamin E

Endurance training improves the body’s antioxidant defenses. At the same time, muscles and other tissues consume a lot of vitamin E during increased physical activity, therefore additional intake of this vitamin is necessary to protect against free radicals.

Vitamin E content in foods (mg / 100 g)

Soybean oil


Cottonseed oil

one hundred

Linseed oil




Green peas




Boiled eggs


Vitamin E is recognized as the most powerful antioxidant for its ability to maintain the integrity of cell membranes.

This quality helps to recover faster after training, prevent the breakdown of muscle proteins and reduce muscle soreness. For recovery, it is most effective when taken simultaneously with vitamin C.

To naturally increase your vitamin E intake, snack on almonds, wheatgrass in yogurt, avocado in salad, and vegetable oil in other meals.

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