What exactly are these free radicals?
Well, we call so free, unpaired oxygen electrons that arise in the body as a result of metabolic changes. Their presence is related to defense mechanisms, but the excess is definitely harmful. Free radicals are endowed with a negative charge and strive to connect with a positive molecule, and the course of this molecular linking reaction is called oxidation. This causes damage to proteins, fats and nucleic acids of healthy cells, as well as havoc in our oxygen resources. The effect of this action may also be damage to DNA and cell membranes. Currently, it is believed that this may be the beginning of various diseases and also affect the aging process of the body.
What are the consequences of free radicals in the athlete’s body?
Free radicals lower efficiency, they are responsible for weakening of all motor features, ie strength, speed, endurance, prolonging the period of recovery after the shaft, cause long-lasting maintenance of post-workout muscle pain. The longer the training and the more intense, the more free radicals are produced in the body of the athlete. This is due to the increase in heart rate during exercise and so-called shortness of breath, and as we know, free radicals are unpaired oxygen electrons.
How to fight them?
The only way to fight radicals are the antioxidants described below.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants bind oxygen and neutralize the action of free radicals. In this way, antioxidants strengthen the defense (immunological) mechanism of the body. We can not protect ourselves against the effects of free radicals, however, through a proper diet, or the use of vitamin-mineral preparations (supplements), we can provide our body with greater amounts of antioxidants.
I know what these antioxidants are, but now how do I give them in the diet?
The answer is very simple by increasing the consumption of fruit.
They contain the highest antioxidant properties to the ability to absorb oxygen radicals (ORAC). The daily recommended dose of ORAC values is from 3 to 5,000 units.
Sample fruit values in ORAC units per 100 grams of product
dried plums 5770
red grapefruit 483
You can read also: Antioxidants and training adaptation