What is antioxidant?
I’m sure that you hear the word ‘antioxidants’ many times. And you know that they are essential to our health. But do you really know what antioxidants are and do you fully recognize that they are absolutely necessary to maintain our physical well-being? I’m going to try and make it very simple so that everyone will walk away with a clear idea of what antioxidants are and the vital roles they play.
The particle ‘anti’ means “against” or “opposed to”. And opposed to what? Oxidant, or oxidation. In other words, antioxidant helps protect us from oxidation. What is oxidation? When we breathe in oxygen and our cells produce energy through our normal everyday living processes, molecules inside of our cells react with the oxygen we breathe in. This is called oxidative stress. And this reaction produces free radicals.
So the oxidation occurs everyday, it’s part of our day-to-day living. “Free Radical” is the term science gives to an unstable molecule with at least one unpaired electron. What this means, is that free radicals are like robbers which are deficient in energy. So they attach and snatch energy from the other cells to satisfy themselves. Our bodies are wonderfully made and they produce enough antioxidants to protect our trillions of living cells from such ‘robbers’. Unfortunately for us, there are so many elements in this day and age that produce a lot of free radicals, our internal energy robbers. They come from common evils that are known to the 21st century, such as poor food choices, stress, radiation from the sun, pollution, toxins in the water, and so on. Then there are many other things that deplete our antioxidant supply, such as medication, cigarette smoke, Tylenol, etc. Moreover, strenuous exercise and illness may increase your requirements for antioxidant protection.
Therefore, do you see the need, now more than ever, to take in antioxidants in natural foods and antioxidant supplements? Let’s take a moment and analyze antioxidant supplements. There is an abundance of antioxidant products, so what factors should you take into consideration when you shop for supplements?
Many of antioxidant supplements contain Coenzyme Q10 (a.k.a. CoQ10), Beta Carosine, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, selenium, zinc, manganese, flavonoid, and catechin.
Each compound forms a network in your body to collaborate together in their efforts to protect us against natural and synthetic chemical fragments called free radicals. Therefore, when you decide what supplements to take, it’s important to pay attention to how these compounds interact with each other rather than go after new ingredients or increase dosage of a particular type of antioxidant.
How Much Should You Take?
So how much should you take a day? 500 milligrams of vitamin C and vitamin E daily is the most that is required and this dose is unlikely to cause adverse health or fitness effects. Consider regular antioxidants if you train in a particularly polluted environment on a regular basis. A multi-vitamin a day is also great, providing that extra reassurance.
Now Foods: Super Antioxidants
Now Foods: CoQ10 with Vitamin E