Immune Health: Recovery
Whether professional or recreational, any strength athlete can experience an ‘immune crash’ during periods of intense, heavy, or high volume training as he or she loads the body above habitual levels in an attempt to get stronger, quicker, or more powerful. But how is it possible to avoid getting ill while still continuing to push the boundaries in your chosen sport whether that’s running, football, or Olympic Lifting (or in my case 24 hours of sport)?
Well, generally speaking, it’s accepted both through anecdotal and epidemiological evidence (the branch of medicine that studies cause of disease) that moderate, regular training can reduce the risk of infections by having a positive effect on the immune system. But I’ve a feeling these 24 hours will be far from “moderate” which is why my gym bag will be fully stocked with Vitamin D, Super Greens, Elite Man, Vitamin C, BCAA’s and Glutamine.
Why? For many reasons that need more than one article to cover, but specifically recommended by sports nutritionists when talking about overtraining and immune system suppression is branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). Scientists from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the University of São Paulo in Brazil set out to determine how intense long duration exercise could lead to immune suppression through a decrease in the circulating level of plasma glutamine and how the decrease in plasma glutamine concentration as a consequence of intense long duration exercise was reversed, in some cases, by supplementing the diet of the athletes with branched-chain amino acids. Although this particular study was conducted on endurance athletes, the scientific theory is still applicable to strength athletes involved in high volume conditioning (and 24 hours of non-stop sport).
Fuel Your Recovery...