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Revista Habanera de Ciencias Médicas

On-line version ISSN 1729-519X


DE LEON FIERRO, Lidia Guillermina et al. Effectiveness of antioxidant supplements in the improvement of athletic physical performance: Review article. Rev haban cienc méd [online]. 2019, vol.18, n.2, pp.194-216. ISSN 1729-519X.


At present, the use of antioxidants in the sports field has increased. However, there is no conclusive evidence of the effect of these substances in improving the physical performance of athletes.


To determine the effectiveness of antioxidant supplements in the improvement of athletic physical performance.

Material and Methods:

A bibliographic review was carried out through the search on online databases such as Pubmed, Scopus, the Web of Knowledge and Google Scholar search engine. Only original double-blind studies related to the intervention of an antioxidant supplement were included. The review period was from 2009 to December 2017.


A total of 1053 articles were identified, of which 33 met the inclusion criteria for the review. Regarding the type of supplement, 2 of them corresponded to vitamins, 9 to polyphenols, 11 to commercials, and the remaining 9 ones to several types. The historic period of the articles analyzed was 4.8 ± 2.4 years in terms of obsolescence, which was determined by the Burton and Kleber half-period and the Price index (5.5 and 61.0%, respectively).


To date, there is no solid evidence that the intake of antioxidant supplements improves physical athletic performance. There are few positive results in some of the evaluated variables; for this reason, more evidence is required to elucidate the effect of antioxidant supplements.

Keywords : Antioxidant response elements; Total Antioxidant System; athletic performance; endogenous antioxidants; sports performance.

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