Training for and competing in ultraendurance exercise events is associated with an improvement in endogenous antioxidant defenses as well as increased oxidative stress. However, consequences on health are currently unclear.Purpose:
We aimed to examine the impact of training- and acute exercise-induced changes in the antioxidant capacity on the oxidant/antioxidant balance after an ironman triathlon and whether there are indications for sustained oxidative damage.Methods:
Blood samples were taken from 42 well-trained male triathletes 2 d before an ironman triathlon, then immediately postrace, 1, 5, and 19 d later. Blood was analyzed for conjugated dienes (CD), malondialdehyde (MDA), oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL), oxLDL:LDL ratio, advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP), AOPP:total protein (TP) ratio, Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), uric acid (UA) in plasma, and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and catalase (CAT) in erythrocytes.Results:
Immediately postrace, there were significant increases in CD, AOPP, TEAC, UA (for all P < 0.001), and AOPP:TP (P < 0.01). MDA rose significantly (P < 0.01) 1 d postrace, whereas CD (P < 0.01), AOPP (P = 0.01), AOPP:TP (P < 0.05), and TEAC (P < 0.001) remained elevated. OxLDL:LDL trended to increase, whereas oxLDL significantly (P < 0.01) decreased 1 d postrace. Except for GSH-Px (P = 0.08), activities of SOD (P < 0.001) and CAT (P < 0.05) significantly decreased postrace. All oxidative stress markers had returned to prerace values 5 d postrace. Furthermore, several relationships between training status and oxidative stress markers, TEAC, and antioxidant enzyme activities were noted.Conclusions:
This study indicates that despite a temporary increase in most (but not all) oxidative stress markers, there is no persistent oxidative stress in response to an ironman triathlon, probably due to training- and exercise-induced protective alterations in the antioxidant defense system.