Sportsmen and Athletes: How Can You Optimize Your Immune System?

3 January, 2018 , ,

Training a lot and at high intensity can weaken your immune system. An optimal training schedule, proper sleep, a varied and balanced diet, and a sufficient calorie and macronutrient intake are necessary for a healthy immune system. If despite everything you regularly fall ill, this means your immune system is weakened. Here are some things to consider to help you get back on track!


Training Dosage

While long or intense training can weaken the immune system, short low-intensity exercise has the opposite effect and strengthens the immune system. Therefore, alternating high-intensity days with recuperation days (slow jogging, walking, yoga, pilates, etc.) will enable you to maintain a stronger immune system. What’s more, it will help your muscles recover and will have a beneficial effect on your sports performance.

Carbohydrates

Yes, I’m once again mentioning these famous carbohydrates! It is well demonstrated that an inadequate intake of carbohydrates before, during and after an intense and/or long training session can contribute to weaken the immune system. That’s one more reason to eat carbohydrates around the time you train. If you’re often ill, make sure to avoid training on an empty stomach, to drink a sports drink containing carbohydrates during your longer or more intense workouts, and to eat a carbohydrate-rich snack or meal after your workouts.

Protein

Eating enough protein after training promotes muscle recuperation, maintains immune function, and contributes to reducing the risk of infections.

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Author

Kathryn Adel

Kathryn Adel

Kathryn completed degrees in kinesiology and nutrition, as well as a Masters in Sports Nutrition. She is a member of OPDQ and of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She ran track and cross-country at a national level. Kathryn specializes in sports nutrition, weight loss, diabetes, as well as heart and gastrointestinal health.

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