Written by: Taylor Morrison, Wellness Communications Intern, B.Sc. NANS
Fitness – whether you’re a world-class athlete or an occasional runner, the aftermath of exercise is similar in our bodies.
Naturally, the body adapts to exercise-induced stress by increasing antioxidant enzyme activity in recovery. But if the body adapts, do we still need antioxidants?
While the benefits of exercise are related to the controlled stress we put on the body, this stress ultimately leads to micro-tears in the muscle. This causes the muscle to become inflamed, resulting in delayed onset muscle soreness. By inducing this stress and damage through exercise and exertion, we end up causing an inflammatory response throughout the body.
So, yes we do need antioxidants! This is because antioxidants have an added benefit beyond what we get through exercise alone. In order to further reduce this inflammatory process, we need anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and antioxidants to further reduce the stress response that causes soreness.
One of the best sources of antioxidants are the anthocyanins found in berries and fruits. These nutrients are most abundant in açaí. As an antioxidant power-house, these fruits not only reduce the initial oxidative stress, they also boost the natural antioxidant enzyme response from exercise. Therefore consuming açaí can help to reduce muscle soreness and preserve strength, which shortens recovery time, meaning you can get back to training sooner.
It’s best to get the benefits of exercise while doing what you can to reduce the inflammation and soreness that comes with it. So grab a post-workout açaí bowl (see our Inner Glow Superfoods recipes page for ideas) and take your fitness to the next level!