Both vitamin C and E supplements are widely popular and are used together by many who want to improve their health and performance. But a New Norwegian study indicates that the use of these antioxidants can counter the effect of exercise – at least if you are in training for events that require plenty of stamina, such as a marathon.

Study conducted in Norwegian, by Dr. Paulson, a researcher at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NIH) which shows that exercising increases muscle oxidant production, which participates in the signalling processes leading to muscle adaption. It is possible that high doses of vitamins C and E act as antioxidants and take away some of this oxidative stress, hence blocking muscular endurance development.

Whilst the supplements did not affect maximal oxygen uptake but the results also showed that the production of new muscle mitochondria – found in cells and known as the power house of the cell, convert nutrients into the energy in muscle cells need to perform various functions. Their number gets increased only in the group without supplements.

The high doses of the two vitamins, which are both antioxidants, remove some of the stress that muscles are subjected to before, during and after training.

So the men and women with no intake of vitamin C and E supplement during training have more stamina because oxidative stress on their muscles increased the muscles adaptation.Researchers also said that the muscles’ natural ability to burn fat during endurance training is reduced due to intake of vitamin E and C supplements.

Future studies are needed to determine the underlying mechanisms of these results, but researchers assume that the vitamins interfered with cellular signalling and blunted expression of certain genes.So, high dosages of vitamin C and E -- as commonly found in supplements -- should be used with caution, especially if you are undertaking endurance training.