It is important for athletes to maintain a strong immune system and avoid getting sick. Being unwell will result in poor performance and recovery, and reduced training time and inhibited training adaptations.
Eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet can be good for the health of your immune system. There is emerging evidence that specific supplements can improve your immune health.
To maintain optimum immune function, an athlete should ensure an adequate dietary intake of the macro-nutrients carbohydrate and protein, as well as specific micro-nutrients that have been shown to help the immune system.
Supplements to Boost the Immune System
To boost your immune system, consider taking the following supplements. They are listed in the order of importance and backed up by research. Follow the link for more information about each supplement.
- Zinc — taken as lozenges (not tablets)
- Vitamin C
- Polyphenols, e.g. quercetin. These are anti-inflammatory
- Vitamin E
- Bovine colostrum
Note: For athletes who are subject to drug testing, please ensure all supplements you take are third-party independently tested for illegal substances. For e.g. ‘Informed Sport’ or HASTA.
- Athletes and Immunity - the Role of Nutrition
- Supplements for Athletes
- Food and Inflammation — certain foods can also help relieve inflammation.
- Preventing Illness with Nutrition — What you eat can play a big part in your daily health and well being.
- Supplements for Performance Enhancement in Field Hockey
- Healthy eating and sports performance