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Get a pre-workout energy boost

July 15, 2009 3:40:40 PM PDT
Do you know which foods to reach for, to have a better workout? Some might give you an energy boost for a longer workout. The study was in the June 24 issue of the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, published online.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet, in part because of their their antioxidants, which are things that remove damaging chemicals from the body. Citrus fruits, cherries, red apples and red onions have a novel antioxidant called quercitin.

In supplement pill form, researchers gave quercitin to college students for a week and compared their workout endurance to students not on the pill.

Those on quercitin bettered the non-takers by 13 percent. But should you take a pill for this small increase in performance?

"It's not regulated by the FDA and we don't know doses of the pill," said Dr. Carrie Gonzales, of Beth Israel Medical Center. "So as always, it's best to get it from food sources."

And those sources may have another benefit.

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is linked to reducing your risk of cancer, and some researches think quercitin is making that happen.

The quercitin and cancer prevention are from limited evidence, and there are even studies showing the antioxidant used in the test tube can lead to changes similar to those seen with chemicals that actually cause cancer. So the evidence of a quersitin benefit is inconclusive.

The study of the college students was a small one, and it obviously has to be repeated and the results confirmed in a larger group of subjects. But until then, it's another reason besides the good taste, vitamins and fiber to add fruits and vegetables to your diet.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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