Strengthen your immune system

2 min read

Strengthen your immune system

It’s the season for the flu, winter colds, and other upper respiratory infections (URI) that hinder our workouts and set back our fitness. It is well-reported that during periods of heavy training and racing, athletes are more susceptible to infections and following prolonged or heavy exertion many components of our immune systems exhibit change. 

So, what can we do from a nutritional, training, and lifestyle standpoint to fight getting sick? Read on for some recommendations to maintain immune health and stay fit!

Nutrition

There are several ways nutrition can follow to improve your immunity as an athlete. At AMSPORT one of our key focuses has been to develop our unique amino acid product EVO9 to help boost your recovery and immune system

Amino acids act as important regulators of your innate and adaptive immune cells, particularly the BCAAs, arginine and glutamine, which is an important fuel source for immune cells. EVO9 will help you greatly reduce your risk of infections, which is key especially during the winter months so you can prepare for your next season and develop your performance uninterrupted by illness.

 

We also recommend a handful of key supplements: vitamin D3, probiotics, vitamin C, and zinc lozenges.

  • In addition to supplementation, there are also several general nutrition strategies to support a healthy and strong immune system:
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with a focus on fruit and vegetable consumption (5-7 servings/day) to provide adequate nutrient density.
  • Consume > 50% of daily energy intake as carbohydrate. 
  • Consume an adequate amount of protein (1.2-1.6 g/kg/day).

Training 

Managing overall stress (and training loads) also plays a large part in immune health. Some training principles to abide by, that will ultimately keep you healthy, both, from injuries and from URI include:

  • Keeping volume and intensity increases limited to 5-10 percent per week (maximum), especially during the winter months.
  • Schedule recovery days and rest days (Heart rate training is good for this!) following high-intensity sessions/days.

Lifestyle

And finally, managing overall stress and following some simple principles, with regards to travel and sleep, can also hugely impact your body’s immunity. It is a well-known and understood concept that psychological stress has a large influence on immunity and resistance to infection.

  • Aim for > 7 hours of sleep each night. Consistency with sleep is king if possible, daytime naps can be beneficial!
  • Avoid sick people and clean equipment before and after you use it! It sounds simple, and it is.  When exposed to those with URI’s, do not underestimate the importance of thoroughly washing your hands in order to avoid self-inoculation by touching your eyes, nose, and/or mouth.

It is possible to remain healthy and training strong throughout these tough winter months. A focus on nutrition, sound training principles/planning, and overall stress-management can be a great start towards fortifying your immunity and overall well-being!