While vitamin C doesn’t appear to help improve athletic performance, some other nutrients and the foods that contain them show some potential. Tomatoes for example contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene, which may protect tissues from damage and prevent disease. But can it also help improve athletic performance? According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, in Effect of supplementation of tomato juice on the oxidative stress of selected athletes:
It is concluded that lycopene in tomato juice has a beneficial effect on the oxidative stress on athletes and will improve their performance level when used as a supplement.
This sounds promising, but we need more research on this. The “used as a supplement” sounds a bit strange. Why not just drink tomato juice or eat more tomatoes? Or do they consider consuming tomatoes like this to be taking it as a “supplement”? Tomatoes are delicious, and fresh or as sauce can be an important part of a meal. It need not be used as a “supplement”. I already eat so many tomatoes, I don’t know how I could add more of them to my diet.