After the two groups were assigned their tasks, they started the same resistance-training program each week, and the weights were gradually increased throughout the 10 weeks of the study. Throughout those 10 weeks, the researchers who closely examined and monitored the two study groups started to take small samples of muscle tissue from each volunteer, in order to have a closer look at the cells of each volunteer.
What both groups had in common (those who took the antioxidant supplements and those who did not) was the fact that in both cases, the test subjects experienced an increase in muscle size, to a certain extent. However, the main difference was in terms of strength gains – those who took the antioxidant vitamins have added considerably less strength than those who did not take Vitamin C or E. Otherwise stated, even though the two groups have gained the same amount of muscle mass over the course of the 10 weeks, ultimately those who took the supplements did not experience the same amount of strength.
Even though scientists have managed to confirm the fact that there is a connection between the antioxidant intake and lower endurance/muscle strength, nobody can tell for sure to what extent or in which way the antioxidant pills actually affect the muscles, and how they can interfere with the weight training process on a cellular level. One thing is for sure, though: although it is a known fact that the antioxidant vitamins do minimize the dangerous side effects associated with the free radicals, this does have another side effect on the vital physiological processes that take place within the muscle, at a cellular level.
Otherwise stated, by suppressing the effect of the free radicals on the muscles, you will simply get a smaller overall response to exercise because the free radicals also happen to double as “cellular messengers” that tell cells to start pumping out the proteins that are required to improve one’s overall fitness level and strength.