How to maintain immune health in athletes

The authors of the study published by the European Journal of Sport Science show the main factors that affect the immune health of exercise-active people. Based on them, recommendations were made regarding training, rest, and nutrition to maintain immune health. Recommendations include:

Recommendations for training:

Keep the size of increments in volume and intensity to 5–10% per week

Increase the frequency of shorter, spike training sessions rather than enduring fewer but longer sessions

Implement recovery activities immediately after the most intensive training sessions

Undertake easy-moderate training sessions after each high-intensity session

Plan an easier recovery/adaptation week every second or third week of the training cycle

Sleep recommendations:

Aim for >7 h sleep each night

Avoid restricting sleep over many days and ‘catching-up’

If possible plan daytime naps

Ensure darkness at bedtime

Nutritional recommendations:

Match energy intake to expenditure and eat a well-balanced diet

Consume >50% daily energy intake as carbohydrate

Ensure adequate protein intake (1.2−1.6 g/kg body mass/day)

Consider 1000 IU/day vitamin D3 from autumn to spring to maintain sufficiency

At the onset of a cold take zinc acetate lozenges (75 mg/day)

Consider probiotics (≥1010 live bacteria/day) for illness prone athlete



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