Superior support to fight free radicals!
By Steve Born
There are many factors that determine the quality of athletic performance and overall health; one that I am especially zealous about is maximizing recovery. Those who know me - especially anyone who's attended one of my fueling seminars - knows just how much emphasis I place on this particular aspect of athletic performance. Two of the primary factors in ensuring enhanced recovery are:
1. "Refilling the tank" with high-quality carbohydrates and protein. Doing this ASAP after workouts and races allows the body to replenish and increase its stores of glycogen, while also providing the raw materials (the amino acids from protein) to help rebuild muscle tissue and support the immune system. Recoverite, or a Hammer Whey + carbohydrate combination, fulfills this aspect of recovery perfectly.
2. The consumption of a variety of antioxidant nutrients. This helps neutralize the negative effects of free radical buildup, which is crucial for optimizing recovery and immune system functioning.
While the first factor is undoubtedly important, in this article we'll focus on number two, the intake of antioxidant nutrients and in particular discuss a product that helps fulfill this requirement superbly: Super Antioxidant, formerly known as Super AO. Before going into the specific components of this product, I think it's important to take a few moments to discuss free radicals and why antioxidant supplementation plays such a vital role in optimizing both recovery from workouts and races, and overall health.
Free radicals and antioxidants
Over half a century ago, Dr. Denham Harman first proposed the theory of free radicals and the role they play in age-related diseases. Back then, when aging was primarily believed to be more of a mechanical issue, due simply to many years of wear and tear on the body, Harman's theory on free radicals was . . . well, radical. Now, however, while there are many factors that contribute to the aging process, the Free Radical Theory of Aging is widely accepted as one of the primary, if not THE primary, concepts as to the cause of accelerated aging and/or age-related diseases.
Researchers Bradford and Allen write, "A free radical is simply a molecule carrying an unpaired electron . . . All free radicals are extremely reactive and will seek out and acquire an electron in any way possible. In the process of acquiring an electron, the free radical . . . will attach itself to another molecule, thereby modifying it biochemically."  Leibovitz and Siegel state: "However, as free radicals (FR) steal an electron from the other molecules, they convert these molecules into FRs, or break down or alter their chemical structure. Thus, FRs are capable of damaging virtually any biomolecule, including proteins, sugars, fatty acids, and nucleic acids." 
Dr. Misner, in eloquent fashion, provides further information about free radicals and antioxidants:
For at least the past 20 years, the word antioxidant has become part of the vernacular. Today, the importance of antioxidants has by no means diminished; rather antioxidants are recognized as one of the most important weapons in the fight against disease.
Oxygen has the capacity to be both friend and foe. All our physiological processes require oxygen, and it is this that gives us energy. However, by-products of burning oxygen form in the body, similar to the sparks given off by a fire. These little sparks are commonly known as free radicals. When energy fuels are metabolized in the presence of oxygen, 5% of them create molecules that contain an odd number of electrons. The conversion of blood sugar, muscle glycogen, and fatty acids occur by oxidation. During this process, pairs of hydrogen atoms are released like guided missiles, resembling a minute microlevel war, causing devastating destruction to underlying tissues and cells. If free radicals are not neutralized by on-site antioxidant body stores immediately, tissue damage occurs to absolutely every cell membrane touched by these imbalanced molecular wrecking machines.
Our bodies undergo oxidative stress when the capability of these on-site antioxidant body stores is eclipsed by the number of free radicals being produced. Free radicals are the major cause of aging and degenerative disease in our society. They are continually formed in the body as part of normal biological processes; however, other factors contribute to an overload of free radicals, such as pesticides, cigarette smoke, pollution, alcohol, and foods that are fried at high temperatures or burnt.
Antioxidants have the ability to counteract the damaging effects of these everyday physiological processes; they play a vital role in preventing the onset of numerous chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, and cataracts.
It should be abundantly clear that allowing free radicals to accumulate and go unchecked - which they easily do, overwhelming the body's built-in antioxidant defenses - is definitely not beneficial for the reasons that Dr. Misner and the previously mentioned nutritional scientists state. Antioxidants are the solution, both from food sources and dietary supplements. Super Antioxidant, a staple in the Hammer Nutrition line, has proven to be one of the most potent products of its type available.
Free radicals and the damage they can cause are not to be taken lightly. If you want to experience maximal gains in your training, achieve better race results, and enjoy optimal general health, your diet and supplement program should contain a wide variety of antioxidants. Super Antioxidant contains a unique blend of antioxidants that will help protect your body from the ravages of free radical damage. It is a product that wonderfully complements other antioxidant-rich Hammer Nutrition supplements such as Premium Insurance Caps, Race Caps Supreme, Mito Caps, and AO Booster.
Super Antioxidant has been a part of the Hammer Nutrition product lineup for a very long time and, even after all these years, is still one of our bestselling products. The reason is simple: it works! The antioxidant potency of Super Antioxidant is best explained by product formulator, Dr. Bill Misner:
"The combination of the ingredients is a synergistic model that time and dose have been reported effective by myriads of athletes who have used this product. Interestingly, when I first proposed Super Antioxidant's formula to the manufacturer, they advised us that this combination would be too potent an antioxidant for human use. Since I had already tested the ingredients in my own training without side effects, but with good performance results, Brian Frank approved production, and we - as well as thousands and thousands of athletes - have enjoyed using it for years."
Are you one of those athletes? If not, it's time to include Super Antioxidant in your supplement "arsenal" and allow its antioxidant power to go to work for you! HN