Interest in the relationship between inflammation and oxidative stress has increased dramatically in recent years, not only within the clinical setting but also in the fields of exercise biochemistry and immunology. Inflammation and oxidative stress share a common role in the etiology of a variety of chronic diseases. During exercise, inflammation and oxidative stress are linked via muscle metabolism and muscle damage. Because oxidative stress and inflammation have traditionally been associated with fatigue and impaired recovery from exercise, research has focused on nutritional strategies aimed at reducing these effects. In this review, we have evaluated the findings of studies involving antioxidant supplementation on alterations in markers of inflammation (e.g., cytokines, C-reactive protein and cortisol). This review focuses predominantly on the role of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species generated from muscle metabolism and muscle damage during exercise and on the modulatory effects of antioxidant supplements. Furthermore, we have analyzed the influence of factors such as the dose, timing, supplementation period and bioavailability of antioxidant nutrients.
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