Role of antioxidants markers of soccer players

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Role of antioxidants markers of soccer players

Antioxidants are chemicals or physical agents that slow down or prevent the oxidation of other substances. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidant. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals, responsible for initiating a chain reaction that damages cells; antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by acting on intermediate radicals and inhibiting other oxidation reactions by oxidizing themselves.

As a result, antioxidants are chemically defined as reducing agents - such as thiols or polyphenols - as the chemical reactions involved are redox. A reserch was done in this field, applied to sport. The study: Antioxidants Markers of Professional Soccer Players During the Season and their Relationship with Competitive Performance, published on the Journal of human kinetics, explained: "The aim of this study was to assess antioxidant markers before and after a mid-season of professional soccer players from the 3rd Spanish Division, and to correlate antioxidant markers with competitive performance.

Sixty-five male players (age = 25.3 ± 4.2 yr, body mass = 73.2 ± 6.7 kg, body height = 177.8 ± 5.7 cm) from three soccer clubs from Cádiz (Spain) participated in the study. Body composition, maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max), and baseline antioxidant blood markers (Total Antioxidant Status (TAS) and Reduced glutathione / Oxidized glutathione ratio) were assessed in the first week of the championship season ( pre-test) and after 18 weeks in the mid-season (post-test).

Soccer performance was registered according to the official classification ranking at both the mid-season and at the end of t he season; ranking positions for Team A were 2nd and 1st, for Team B were 5th and 5th, while for Team C were 12th and 14th, respectively.

Regression analyzes showed that TAS and VO2max were able to independently predict (p <0.05) performance in our participants. Moreover, antioxidant levels showed significant main effects on performance (p <0.001); where a higher antioxidant capacity was observed in the best performance soccer team, both before and after the mid-season.

Notwithstanding, the competitive period compromised the antioxidant status since TAS levels significantly decreased after the 18-week training program and competition compared with baseline values ​​in all soccer teams (p <0.001).

These results suggest the need of monitoring antioxidants in soccer players to prevent excessive oxidative stress and cellular damage which could compromise success in competition, by adjusting the training loads, diet or ergogenic aids, if needed."