Effects of vitamin e & vitamin c supplementation on the performance of swimmers at high altitude

J. H. Waara, J. S. Hughes, J. R. Coast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the proposed research was to evaluate the ability of supplements of the amioxidants vitamin E (a-tocopherol) and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to improve the performance of swimmers during heavy training loads at high altitude. Thirteen members of the Northern Arizona University swimming team (nine male and four female) were randomly assigned to the experimental or the control group. All participants agreed to take no outside supplements throughout the experimental period. The experiment was conducted as a double blind placebo protocol in Flagstaff, Arizona at approximately 7000 feet elevation. Swimmers in the experimental group received 1200 lUs of vitamin E and 1000 mg of vitamin C per day for 25 days, while the control group received placebos which were identical in appearance. Compliance with supplementation was approximately 90% for both groups. The exercise protocol consisted of two 400 meter swims. The first swim was done at submaximal pace (-70% of VO2 max), while the second was done at maximal effort. Blood lactate levels were determined prior to the start of exercise for baseline data, and after each of the two swims. No significant differences were observed between the experimental group and the control group in swimming performance and no significant differences were observed in blood lactate levels after either of the two swims. This study suggests that antioxidant supplementation does not yield benefits for exercise of this type, intensity and duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A477
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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