YOUNG ATHLETES NEED TO INCREASE CONSUMPTION OF GREEN AND YELLOW VEGETABLES
Kimura, M., Kobata, T., Inoue, K., Hasegawa, I., & Higuchi, M. (2002). The relationship between carotenoid status and green and yellow vegetables intake in young soccer players. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34(5), Supplement abstract 1075.
Normally, the body has adequate antioxidant reserves to deal with increased production of free radicals. However, strenuous exercise increases free-radical production. Green and yellow vegetables are a source of prevention (e.g., Beta-carotene) for oxidative damage. Well-trained high school soccer players (N = 20) and age-matched untrained high-school students (N = 34) were studied.
Daily nutrient intake of athletes was significantly greater than in the untrained comparison group. Soccer players had a lower blood concentration of Beta-carotene than untrained Ss.
Implication. Young athletes need higher intakes of green and yellow vegetables than untrained peers to maintain good antioxidant status within the blood.
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