Antioxidant sports gels benefits

Many sports nutrition brands promote the presence of antioxidants in their ingredients or the antioxidant function of some of their products. Let’s take a look at what these antioxidants are. How are they produced by the body and under what circumstances ? What foods are naturally rich in antioxidants? Why do athletes need them more during physical activity ? What are the benefits of an antioxidant sports gels ?

What are antioxidants used for ?

Antioxidants are found in vitamins C, E and A, omega-3s, zinc, potassium, BCAAs and many other lesser-known micronutrients found naturally in our bodies and in the foods we eat. They play a crucial role in neutralising free radicals, harmful compounds that are produced when our muscle cells consume the oxygen present in the blood.

These radicals attack and destroy our cells, known as “oxidative stress”. Oxidative stress occurs when the body cannot effectively eliminate free radicals. This can lead to damage to the DNA, proteins and lipids in our cells, which in turn can contribute to cramps, fatigue, premature ageing and many chronic diseases.

diagram explaining oxidative stress

The body then organises its defence by producing antioxidants. They play a key role in strengthening the immune system, helping to prevent infection and disease.

Where are antioxidants found ?

Antioxidants are generally found in abundance in fruit and vegetables

That’s why the French National Health and Nutrition Programme (FNHNP) recommends “eating 5 fruit and vegetables a day”. Here are the main ones:

  • ß-carotene (provitamin A) is found mainly in bright, orange-coloured fruit and vegetables such as carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes, red peppers and mangoes.
    Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is found in oranges, blackcurrants, strawberries and also in very large quantities in red peppers.
  • Tocopherol (vitamin E) is very present in wheat germ, olive oil, sunflower oil, walnuts, almonds, avocado and egg yolks!
    Polyphenols and lycopene include flavonoids (widely found in plants), tannins (in cocoa, coffee, tea and grapes), anthocyanins (particularly in red fruit) and phenolic acids (in cereals, fruit and vegetables).

Our bodies produce α-lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant, from cysteine, an amino acid found in brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, dairy products, nuts, seeds, seafood, fish, eggs and meat.

Animal proteins (meat and fish) also contain antioxidants

However, the antioxidant content of these protein sources is considerably lower than that of fruit and vegetables.

As far as meat is concerned, liver is a good example. Beef liver, for example, contains large quantities of vitamins A and C, as well as copper. Fatty meats such as beef and lamb are also sources of Coenzyme Q10, a powerful antioxidant.

Fish, particularly oily fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel and herring, are also a good source of antioxidants. These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The best way to get a variety of antioxidants is to eat a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.

Herbs and spices have the greatest antioxidant properties

Cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, cocoa, ginger, curry, black pepper, thyme and oregano are the most concentrated!

What is the antioxidant power of food ?

A food’s ‘antioxidant capacity’ is its ability to neutralise free radicals. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) index is used to measure a food’s antioxidant capacity. The higher a food’s ORAC index, the greater its antioxidant capacity. Very useful for prioritising the richest foods.

Top 50 of best antioxidant ingredients

Why are antioxidants important for athletes ?

The body is put to a severe test during sustained training or competition: repeated muscular contractions, inflammation of tendons, tissues and joints, production of CO2 and lactic acid… All stress that creates an increased risk of injury, fatigue and poor recovery. Antioxidants are the solution !

The external intake of antioxidants in the form of an energy gel, for example, is necessary when the effort is intense because oxygen consumption increases. The more oxygen the body breathes in, the more free radicals it produces, and the more antioxidants it needs to neutralise them. This is the case for endurance sports in general and marathon, trail, cycling and triathlon in particular.

Antioxidants protect athletes in the following ways :

  • Reduces inflammation of muscle tissue and joints
  • Reduces the risk of injury through improved recovery
  • Reduces acidity in the body (acidic gastric reflux) by returning the pH to a normal level as close as possible to 7

Focus on Mulebar antioxidant gels

The Mulebar range of energy gels includes 5 flavours, two of which are antioxidant. Their highly fluid texture means they are quickly assimilated by the body and take effect within 5 to 10 minutes of absorption.

Our Mulebar antioxidant gels have been specially designed to support muscular activity during training and racing. With 114Kcal per 37g tube, they will provide you with all the muscular energy you need for your sporting activities. Made from 100% natural ingredients, they contain no preservatives or colourings. So there’s no risk of stomach problems during exercise.

Their liquid texture makes them easy to absorb, especially during exercise when the mouth is very dry. It is advisable, however, to consume them in several doses (this is possible with their resealable caps) and to drink water immediately afterwards to remove the sugar from the mouth.

Note that our Mulebar gels are water-soluble at a rate of one tube per 500ml. It’s much more practical than powder to make your own energy drink.

These gels are vegan and gluten-free ecrtified.

They should be taken in 2 or 3 doses, every 15 minutes. The cap on the tube is really easy to reseal – it’s the only one on the market! And once finished, it doesn’t leak.

Mulebar cherry energy gel in tubes and eco-refills

Photo of Mulebar cherry antioxidant energy gelPhoto ecorecharge of Mulebar cherry antioxidant energy gel

Our 5 eco-refills (one per flavour) allow you to refill the energy gel tubes once they’ve been rinsed out with hot water. A great way to reduce the use of single-use plastic. We also offer 60ml silicone vials, resealable with a non-drip valve, containing the equivalent of 2 tubes of 37g gel. These vials can be washed and reused hundreds of times. At the request of large consumers, we have developed a 150ml soft flask (equivalent to 5 tubes of gel) so that you can take more with you without disposable plastic. One eco-refill contains 12 doses of gel or enough to make 6 litres of diluted drink. It costs 33% less than 12 tubes of gel bought individually. Saving money while doing good for the planet is pretty rare, isn’t it?

Ingredients :

Brown rice syrup, agave syrup, cherry juice concentrate, Himalayan pink salt crystals.

  • Brown rice syrup, with its high glycaemic index, provides the immediate energy required in a gel.
  • Agave syrup provides natural fructose with its low glycaemic index (15).
  • Cherry juice, rich in vitamins and minerals, improves recovery by increasing antioxidant capacity and reducing inflammation and lipid peroxidation. This contributes to better muscle recovery following sporting activity.
  • Himalayan pink salt is very rich in trace elements, particularly iron, which helps to regenerate the blood and improve circulation. It helps to maintain healthy lungs and improve respiratory function. It helps to restore blood pH (acid-base balance). It acts on gastric reflux problems.

Nutritional values :

Nutritional values Mulebar cherry gel

Mulebar apple energy gel in tubes and eco-refills

Photo of Mulebar apple antioxidant energy gelMulebar energy gel with apple

Ingredients :

Brown rice syrup, agave syrup, apple juice concentrate, cinnamon, Himalayan pink salt crystals.

  • Brown rice syrup, with its high glycaemic index, provides the immediate energy required in a gel.
  • Agave syrup provides natural fructose with its low glycaemic index (15).
  • Apple juice is rich in antioxidants (mainly quercetin and polyphenols, which help combat cardiovascular disease and reduce blood cholesterol levels). It also contains a large number of vitamins: A, B1 and B2, C and PP. These are involved in carbohydrate metabolism, the nervous system and energy production. Potassium contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system, normal muscle function and the maintenance of normal blood pressure. Vitamin C contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and reduces fatigue. It is also involved in the normal formation of collagen, to ensure the normal function of teeth, bones, cartilage, blood vessels and skin.
  • Cinnamon has antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is mainly used to stimulate the immune system, relieve digestive problems and provide a natural treatment for type 2 diabetes.
  • Pink Himalayan salt is very rich in trace elements, particularly iron, which helps to regenerate the blood and improve circulation. It helps to maintain healthy lungs and improve respiratory function. It helps to restore blood pH (acid-base balance). It acts on gastric reflux problems.

Nutritional values :

Nutritional values Mulebar apple energy gel

In conclusion, a diet rich in antioxidants is essential for maintaining good health and optimising sports performance. To optimise your antioxidant intake, we recommend that you include a variety of fruit, vegetables, nuts and spices in your daily diet. Supplementation with antioxidant energy gels is an added bonus in the event of sustained sporting activity.

Antioxidant fruit and vegetable basket

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