The Role of Antioxidants in Post-Exercise Recovery
Written by Eukanuba Staff
Sporting dogs are wired to run fields and make retrieves. But even the best conditioned dogs can tire over time. Some of their fatigue may come from oxidative stress and the buildup of free radicals. Nutrition can play an important role in positively impacting post-exercise recovery.
Give a pointer, setter, shorthair or Lab a choice between working or taking a nap, odds are they’ll take work at every opportunity. Handlers are in it to win it today, but they’ve got an eye on tomorrow as well.
Bird dogs and retrievers can be seemingly strong as steel if they’ve been forged to handle elevated work levels. Pre-season conditioning helps dogs run for longer periods of time. Regularly exercised dogs develop strong, powerful muscles and cardiovascular systems that help them run long and hard. Conditioning also helps support mental sharpness to keep hard-charging dogs focused on the tasks at hand. Dogs that are in good physical and mental shape are more likely to recover faster than out-of-shape dogs.
But even the best conditioned dogs can tire over time. Their energy levels can drop and their mental sharpness can soften. Some of their fatigue may come from oxidative stress and the buildup of free radicals. Free radicals, the by-product of strenuous activity, are a normal part of a dog’s everyday life. Increased workload results in more free radicals being released in the dog’s body. Large amounts of free radicals can slow down the rebuilding of cells lost during rigorous exercise. By reducing free radical production, dogs may recover more quickly.
That’s where nutrition can play an important role in positively impacting post-exercise recovery of hard-working dogs. Antioxidants like Vitamin E, Vitamin C, lutein, beta-carotene and taurine, among others help reduce oxidative stress and free radicals. In a study* of Iditarod dogs, the ones that run a 938-mile course across 8 to 15 days, the results found that dogs with a higher pre-race plasma Vitamin E concentration were twice as likely to finish the race.
Recovery from daily work and training is important for a dog to work at his peak. Proper conditioning and optimal nutrition are both important for the recovery process. Nutrition that contains antioxidants like Eukanuba’s Premium Performance line aids post-exercise recovery times and helps prepare dogs to perform at their peak tomorrow.
SOURCE: * Piercy RJ et al. Association between vitamin E and enhanced athletic performance in sled dogs. Med. Sci. sports Exerc. 2001, 33 : 826-833
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