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We investigated whether 6 wk of antioxidant supplementation (AS) would enhance 30 km time trial (TT) cycling performance. Eleven elite male cyclists completed a randomized, double-blind, cross-over study to test the effects of twice daily AS containing essential vitamins plus quercetin (FRS), and AS minus quercetin (FRS-Q) versus a baseline TT (B). MANOVA analysis showed that time to complete the 30 km TT was improved by 3.1% on FRS compared to B (P ≤ 0.01), and by 2% over the last 5 km (P ≤ 0.05). Absolute and relative (%HRmax) heart rates and percent VO2max were not different between trials, but average and relative power (% peak power) was higher on FRS (P ≤ 0.01). Rates of carbohydrate and fat oxidation were not different between trials. Thus, FRS supplementation significantly improved high-intensity cycling TT performance through enhancement of power output. Further study is needed to determine the potential mechanism(s) of the antioxidant efficacy.
The authors are with the Dept of Sports Medicine, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA 90263.