With the recent light shed upon the ever declining health of the population and the rise in demand for all natural, non GMO, antioxidant, organic everything, the more savvy health seekers have decided to go
straight to the source for their nutritional needs. The greatest key to a healthy, happy, active lifestyle full of energy, metal clarity, and success does not lie in a gym on a weight machine or in a delicious piece of organic non GMO chicken. The key is something we all think of for about 3 months out of the year – which is not nearly enough! I’m talking about our immune system of course! On a day to day basis, most of us attempt to get by with a glass of OJ, a cup of coffee, and whatever we find in the fridge to quickly eat for breakfast before we race out the door to work, school, carpools, ect… But the truth is, beginning with our morning routine, our day is greatly devoid of essential nutrition; something we always regret when the dreaded sneezing, achy, exhaustion of a cold creeps up.
Our immune system isn’t always properly fed by the foods we eat in order to prevent the threat of oncoming illness that will further lower our immune system allowing stressors such as poor sleeping habits, lack of exercise, too much exercise, or even over indulging in your evening cocktail a bit too often, to add up to something far more serious than the common cold. Preventing attacks on our immune system and keeping our bodies strong and prepared all year round is not difficult and it’s not expensive. All it requires is attention and the proper intake of nutritional supplements.
Repairing your body after periods of increased stress, both physical and mental, is the first step in the journey towards positive immune health. Nutritional supplements such as protein is essential to immune defense which is why there has been such a great rise in sports nutrition supplementation among athletes of all demographics. Whether you’re a high school football player, a professional athlete, or just exercising to stay fit at any age, the message to replace the energy you’ve put out is strong. The rise in protein and amino related supplement interest has skyrocketed thanks to scientific studies behind high intensity activity and how immune function significantly impacts overall health, speed, performance, and muscle growth. Coincidently, protein is a huge factor in maintaining optimal immune function. Interest and demand has led to other scientific exploration into less frequently considered but oh so important nutrients such as creatine which increases speed, muscle mass, and energy, but also increases brain function and speeds up recovery time of damaged, over stressed cells. The benefits of repairing cell damage which leaves the body open to immunity break down and infection makes creatine a favorite among athletes. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and krill oil aid in heart, brain, and joint health in addition to digestion. Probiotics are now one of the first ingredients in a sports nutrition supplement to aid in both digestion and immune support. Since 70% of our immune system is located in our gut and digestion is key in the breakdown of nutrients to be absorbed, probiotics and omega-3s should be on top of everyone’s list!
Other supplements such as vitamins and minerals are also high on the list for both immune health and sports nutrition. As metabolic regulators, vitamins and minerals need to be a regular part of everyone’s intake, especially those who are actively inclined. Most B-complex vitamins convert carbs and fats into energy and also help to increase the flow of oxygen in your blood cells. Vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene are powerful antioxidants used to prevent oxidative damage to cell structure and prevent muscle tissue damage.
While sports nutrition supplements, vitamins, and minerals could keep your bench press numbers up and sick days down, it is up to you to take that next step towards wellness, increased strength and energy, and a powerful immune system that stops even the fiercest cold in its tracks. Just think, if supplements such as these can work wonders for an athlete, imagine what it would do for us all!