Flavonoids and Sports Performance

Flavonoids are a diverse group of natural compounds found in various plant-based foods and beverages, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, tea, and cocoa. They are responsible for the vibrant colors of many fruits and vegetables and play essential roles in the plant’s defense against environmental stressors.

In recent years, flavonoids have garnered significant attention in the field of sports nutrition, with researchers exploring their potential impact on sport performance, exercise recovery, and overall athletic abilities.

One area of interest is the antioxidant properties of flavonoids. During intense physical activity, the body generates free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to oxidative stress. Flavonoids, acting as antioxidants, neutralize these harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. This process may help protect muscles from damage and inflammation caused by exercise, potentially leading to faster recovery and reduced muscle soreness (Davison et al., 2012).

Moreover, flavonoids have been associated with improved endothelial function and enhanced nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide plays a vital role in vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels, which can enhance blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles during exercise. Improved blood flow can contribute to better endurance and aerobic performance (Al-Dashti et al., 2018).

Apart from their effects on exercise performance, flavonoids have also been studied for their potential cardiovascular benefits. Some studies suggest that flavonoid intake is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease and stroke. These protective effects may be attributed to their ability to improve blood vessel function, reduce inflammation, and enhance blood lipid profiles (Ivey et al., 2015).

A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich foods remains the foundation of good nutrition for athletes to support their training and performance goals.



  1. Al-Dashti, Y. A., Holt, R. R., Stebbins, C. L., Keen, C. L., & Hackman, R. M. (2018). Dietary flavanols: a review of select effects on vascular function, blood pressure, and exercise performance. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 37(7), 553-567.
  2. Davison, G., Callister, R., Williamson, G., Cooper, K. A., & Gleeson, M. (2012). The effect of acute pre-exercise dark chocolate consumption on plasma antioxidant status, oxidative stress, and immunoendocrine responses to prolonged exercise. European Journal of Nutrition, 57(3), 1221-1232.
  3. Ivey, K. L., Hodgson, J. M., Croft, K. D., & Lewis, J. R. (2015). Flavonoid intake and all-cause mortality. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 110(3), 789-797.


Shopping Cart