Exercise is great for our health, whether that be for our mind or our muscles.
However intense or strenuous workout sessions can place our cells at risk of oxidative stress.
“This time of year I often see clients who want to get in shape very quickly ahead of a summer holiday,” said Nicola Addison, a celebrity personal trainer whose clients have included Elle MacPherson and Daisy Lowe.
“The problem is that very intense exercise does have its risks – free radicals.”
These are toxic, unstable molecules which can target and damage essential structures in the body’s cells.
Exercise triggers them to attack essential lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids
In the long-term this can increase your risk of inflammation, which has been associated with conditions including diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
However, Addison added: “Free radicals may sound scary but there are simple steps you can take to protect your cells from oxidative stress and still enjoy getting fit.”
Indeed, something likely to be already in your fridge can combat their damaging effects.
Addison said: “There’s no need to splash out on a premium sports drink.”
“A 150ml glass of pure orange juice is not only hydrating but it also contains all your recommended daily amount of vitamin C, an antioxidant that plays a major role in the protection of cells from free radicals.”
This contains 200mg of vitamin C – the recommended daily amount.
Other sources of vitamin C include oranges, red pepper and kale.
However, juice can often be a more practical way to boost your immune system during and after a workout.
A 150ml glass of pure orange juice – with no added sugar – contains just 4 per cent of a woman’s daily calorie intake.
Additionally it is a source of potassium, which helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue, and contributes to healthy blood pressure, and folate.