The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of zinc deficiency and supplementation on lipid peroxidation and glutathione levels in blood and in some tissues of rats performing swimming exercise. Forty adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups: group 1, zinc-deficient consisted of swimming rats; group 2 consisted of zinc-supplemented swimming rats; groups 3 and 4 were the swimming and nonswimming controls, respectively. The levels of malondialdehyde and glutathione were measured after 4 wk of zinc-deficient or zinc-supplemented diet and 30 min of swimming exercise daily. The erythrocyte glutathione levels of groups 2 and 4 were significantly higher than those of groups 1 and 3 (p<0.01). The plasma malondialdehyde level of group 1 was significantly higher than all other groups. The glutathione levels in liver, kidney, striated muscle, and testes of group 2 were higher than in the other groups (p<0.01) and higher in kidney and striated muscle of group 3 than in groups 1 and 4 (p<0.01). The tissue malondialdehyde levels of striated muscle, liver, kidney, and testes of group 1 were significantly higher than for all other groups (p<0.01). Our findings suggest that both swimming exercise and zinc deficiency result in an increase of lipid peroxidation in tissues and that zinc supplementation prevents these alterations by the activation of the antioxidant system.