Objective: Additional oxygen consumption during intense exercises may lead to oxidative stress and contribute to muscular fatigue. Green tea and sour tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.), which contain various flavonoids and polyphenols, have many healthful properties such as anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and heart protecting effects. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of green tea and sour tea supplementation on oxidative stress and muscle damage in soccer athletes.
Methods: This randomized, double-blind control trial was conducted on 54 male soccer players. Participants were randomly assigned to three groups to receive: 450 mg/d green tea extract (GTE) in the first group (n = 18), 450 mg/d sour tea extract (STE) in the second group (n = 18) and 450 mg/d maltodextrin in the control group (n = 18). Fasting whole blood samples were taken under resting conditions at the beginning and the end of the study to quantify the serum levels of muscle damage indices, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and oxidative stress biomarkers, malondialdehyde (MDA), and total antioxidant capacity (TAC).
Results: After six weeks intervention, athletes who received GTE and STE supplements compared with the placebo had a significantly decreased MDA level (P = 0.008). Furthermore, STE supplementation resulted in a significant increase in TAC level compared with GTE and placebo groups (P = 0.01). However, supplementation with GTE and STE had no significant effects on muscle damage indices.
Conclusion: GTE and STE supplementation have beneficial effects on oxidative stress status in male athletes. However, both kinds of tea extract did not affect muscle damage status.
Keywords: athletes; green tea; muscle damage; oxidative stress; sour tea; supplementation.