Supplements containing the French maritime pine bark extract Pycnogenol may help protect against the effects of oxidative stress after exercise, says a new study.
While Pycnogenol evidently seems to be helpful in protecting against the effects of oxidative stress after exercise, it is by no means the only micronutrient with such properties. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, carotenoids, and selenium are also important. Research carried out at the Dr. Rath Research Institute has shown that supplementing these antioxidant micronutrients along with specific plant extracts such as quercetin, green tea extract, resveratrol, and curcumin improves the health benefits of antioxidants by reducing muscle damage, inflammation and pain, while increasing muscle repair after injury.
Other micronutrients also have benefits for people who exercise or play sport. For example, the increased heart rate that occurs during any form of exercise requires a tremendous amount of energy. Micronutrients such as carnitine, coenzyme Q10, vitamin C, and the B group of vitamins are all essential for producing the necessary energy in heart muscle cells for sustained physical endurance.
The key, therefore – and this applies both to professional athletes and to those of us who exercise simply to keep fit – is ensuring that your supplementation program is designed according to the scientific principle of nutrient synergy. As safe as micronutrients are, taking haphazard combinations of them can create or aggravate imbalances of other nutrients in the body. But by ensuring the combinations in your supplementation program are carefully chosen and properly balanced, you will maximize the efficiency of each individual nutrient and eliminate the need for so-called ‘mega-doses’.
To read more about the importance of micronutrients for athletic performance, see this article on our website.