The Nutrition Examination Research Digest (NERD) aims to provide rigorous, unbiased analysis of the latest and most important nutrition and supplementation studies. Click here to subscribe or login if already a subscriber .

In this article

Antioxidants and exercise: no pain, no gains?

Some people turn to antioxidants to help with delayed onset muscle soreness. This recent Cochrane review examines whether they're effective.

Study under review: Antioxidants for preventing and reducing muscle soreness after exercise.

Introduction

NERD readers are likely familiar with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which peaks roughly 24-72 hours[1] after unaccustomed or intense exercise. While some people wear this soreness as a badge of honor, most try to eliminate it completely.

As shown in Figure 1, several mechanisms have been proposed[1] to contribute to DOMS, including damage to the muscle fibers and connective tissue, and increased levels of inflammation and oxidative stress. Accordingly, one way of reducing DOMS could be through the use of antioxidant[2] and anti-inflammatory[3] compounds. Both the ease of access and the convenience of taking a pill make it a tempting target for investigation. A lot of investigations have already been done, but most involve small trials with less ability to detect effects, if any exist. This makes the subject of DOMS ripe for a meta-analysis.

The study under review was a Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the effects of antioxidant supplements on the development and severity of DOMS after exercise.

Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is caused, in part, by an exercise-induced increase in oxidative stress and inflammation. The study under review is a meta-analysis of studies that evaluate the impact of antioxidants on DOMS development and severity.

Who and what was studied?

Become a subscriber to the Nutrition Examination Research Digest to read the full article.

Becoming a member will keep you updated on the most important nutrition studies every month, and give you access to our back catalog of over 500 other articles.

NERD also includes access to Examine Personalized, which includes 150+ monthly summaries on the most important recent studies and access to our database of 10,000+ studies across 600+ health topics.

Stop wasting time and energy — we make it easy for you to stay on top of nutrition research

Try free for a week

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What were the findings?

Subscribe to the Nutrition Examination Research Digest to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What does this study really tell us?

Subscribe to the Nutrition Examination Research Digest to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

The big picture

Subscribe to the Nutrition Examination Research Digest to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

Frequently asked questions

Subscribe to the Nutrition Examination Research Digest to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What should I know?

Subscribe to the Nutrition Examination Research Digest to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

Other Articles in Issue #41 (March 2018)