Our immune systems are doing a great job protecting our bodies from microorganisms that can cause disease. Unfortunately, the immune system can sometimes fail due to various factors.
If you are an athlete, there is nothing worse than putting in the hard work and grinding to prepare for an event only to get sick and miss the thing you trained for.
Pushing yourself to the limit every time leaves your immune system compromised and vulnerable. Here are some strategies athletes can use to stay healthy and 100% all year round.
5 Ways To Build an Athlete Immune System
Athletes train hard daily to get good results. Not giving your body enough time to rest after a high-intensity workout increases your chances of getting sick.
If you don’t sleep enough and overwork your muscles constantly, you will create an acidic environment in your body.
Which is a perfect situation for viruses and germs to hit you. Sleep is the time for the immune system to do repairs and help you recover.
Your muscles need rest after depleting yourself in a workout, and you should always aim for seven to nine hours of good night’s sleep.
This one shouldn’t be mentioned because it is common sense, but many athletes forget this very important fact.
Being hydrated can help stave off sickness, but you must do it right. Throw out a sweetened sports drink and substitute it with filtered water.
Drinks containing sugar will spike your glucose levels, suppressing your immune system and making you more likely to catch a cold or flu.
You can add sugarless electrolyte packets to your water to boost it. But don’t forget to drink water before you are actually thirsty.
#3. Be stress-free
Being constantly stressed can take its toll on your immune system and increase your risk of getting sidelined for an event if you are an athlete. People exposed to stress are two times more likely to catch a cold.
Athletes can find themselves in high-stress situations while playing various sports. This wrecks their immune system. If you are an active athlete, take time every day.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of relaxation. Some quiet meditation, yoga classes or even a bath can help you relax and rejuvenate your immune system.
Supplements help athletes boost their performance daily on the field and in the gym. But it is also important to take the right supplements.
Athletes should take multivitamins and minerals for health in general when the cold season kicks in. The vitamins A, C, and D combined with zinc and L-carnitine can work wonders for your immune system.
You can also take fitness supplements to boost your performance if the workouts are overwhelming.
After a hard workout, your immune system will be suppressed because of the higher production of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Athletes deplete their carb resources and are prone to increased hormone levels post-workout.
It is recommended that athletes take 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates for every hour of intense exercise to reduce stress hormones. Supply enough protein and carbs before and after an exercise to improve recovery.
Follow these simple guidelines for keeping your immune system firing on all cylinders. Don’t let a simple cold ruin all your hard work and prevent you from performing at your best as an athlete.