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Extensive research has found strongly increased generation of reactive oxygen species, free radicals, and reactive nitrogen species during acute physical exercise that can lead to oxidative stress (OS) and impair muscle function. Polyphenols (PCs), the most abundant antioxidants in the human diet, are of increasing interest to athletes as antioxidants. Current literature suggests that antioxidants supplementation can effectively modulate these processes. This overview summarizes the actual knowledge of chemical and biomechanical properties of PCs and their impact as supplements on acute exercise-induced OS, inflammation control, and exercise performance. Evidence maintains that PC supplements have high potency to positively impact redox homeostasis and improve skeletal muscle's physiological and physical functions. However, many studies have failed to present improvement in physical performance. Eleven of 15 representative experimental studies reported a reduction of severe exercise-induced OS and inflammation markers or enhancement of total antioxidant capacity; four of eight studies found improvement in exercise performance outcomes. Further studies should be continued to address a safe, optimal PC dosage, supplementation timing during a severe training program in different sports disciplines, and effects on performance response and adaptations of skeletal muscle to exercise.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



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Citation/Publisher Attribution

Kruk, J., Aboul-Enein, B.H., Duchnik, E. et al. Antioxidative properties of phenolic compounds and their effect on oxidative stress induced by severe physical exercise. J Physiol Sci 72, 19 (2022).