Antioxidants and the Weekend Warrior

An assignment I had from last year's phytochemical class was to discuss the increased production of free radicals as a result from engaging in intense physical activities and consuming a high calorie diet. The professor asked should you be a weekend warrior or have a balanced approach to exercise. 

I know many people put off their workouts for the weekend because they are either too busy or exhausted to workout during the week. Unfortunately, this this is not the best decision. 

Physical exercise greatly increases oxygen utilization and the generation of free radicals. Over time, the body slowly adapts to regular physical activity and enhances the antioxidant system to deal with the production of free radicals.

However, this is not the case for the weekend warriors. When a person is sedentary during the week and engages in vigorous workouts on the weekend, the body produces a large amount of free radicals without being able to adapt to the stress. When the antioxidant defense system is unable to acclimatize to the intense activities, it results in out of control free radicals damaging the body.

It works the same for those that eat a steady amount of calories during the week then eat higher calorie foods and meals on the weekends. 

The body uses oxygen to metabolize food. The more food a person takes in the more oxygen is needed to extract the energy from the food, producing a large amount of free radicals. The free radicals damages the body if its antioxidant system has not had a chance to change.

A balanced approach to exercise and caloric intake will lessen the damage done by free radicals by allowing the body's antioxidant defense system to adapt. 

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will provide antioxidants to help battle free radicals. 

Texas State Capitol

I wanted to post a picture, but I didn't have any that made sense. Unless you wanted to see another picture of a glass of wine (antioxidants), which I have plenty of. Instead, I added a picture of the Texas State Capitol. It took my husband and me twenty minutes to walk around the building. It’s huge and beautiful. Not bad for an iPhone photo.


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