Exercise is definitely a double-edged sword. It can be seen somewhat like medication. In the correct doses, it can be very beneficial to health, but in excess amounts, it can be harmful. This is an issue elite athletes have to navigate in all sports – from endurance sports like triathlons, ultramarathons, and cycling to contact sports like football, hockey, and soccer. Even fitness and yoga professionals who teach multiple rigorous classes on a daily basis have the potential to tiptoe on the edge of their exercise load getting to the point where it begins to harm their bodies and compromise their immune systems.
The common term for this is “overtraining,” and it can not only affect the body but also the immune system and mental health. With rigorous training and travel schedules, excessive amounts of oxidative stress and inflammation build up in the body, overwhelming the body’s natural antioxidant defenses. This can lead to injuries, chronic fatigue, susceptibility to colds and flu, upper respiratory tract infections, and even depression.
But why exactly do athletes get sick all the time?
According to Dr. Michael Greger of nutritionfacts.org:
“Approximately 95% of all infections are initiated at the mucosal surfaces: like our eyes, nose, and mouth, which are protected by antibodies like IgA, that provide an immunological barrier by neutralizing and preventing viral pathogens from penetrating the body. The IgA in our saliva, for example, is the first line of defense against respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and influenza.”
And while moderate exercise has been shown to boost IgA levels, intense training can actually cause IgA levels to dramatically drop, leaving athletes at high risk for infection.
So what can athletes do to prevent this from happening, while also protecting themselves from inflammation-related overtraining issues?
Some new studies point to 3 key things that you can do as an athlete to improve immune function if you have a rigorous training schedule. And at trusii, we’re here to bring you the practical knowledge on what they are and how you can use them:
Have you ever eaten algae? If that sounds too weird to you, you’ve probably never tried chlorella before. But you’re missing out. Not only does this single-celled alga boast incredible nutrient density, it’s been shown to powerfully protect athletes from illness.
“Research out of Japan found that IgA concentrations in breast milk could be increased by giving mothers chlorella, a unicellular freshwater green algae sold as powder or compressed into tablets. What about other parts of the body? Thirty tablets of chlorella a day for a month increased IgA secretion in the mouth as well…What about giving it to athletes during training camp? High-intensity physical activity, group living—ripe for infection, and indeed the training was so intense IgA levels significantly dropped, but not in those given chlorella each day. So, chlorella intake may attenuate the reduced IgA secretion during athletic training.”
But does that mean we have to eat fishy-tasting algae to get the benefits of chlorella?
In fact, at trusii, we’ve developed an amazingly potent blend of greens, superfoods, plant-based proteins, probiotics, and more (including chlorella) called trusii tru.juice.gr. Check it out HERE on our trusii shopping site for more info and a list of all the organic, raw, plant-based ingredients.
Another single-celled food that can provide athletes with a major immune boost is nutritional yeast. Found in many health food stores and often used as a cheese substitute in sauces, dressings, and even sprinkled on popcorn, nutritional yeast has a pleasant, nutty flavor.
“In the weeks following the Carlsbad Marathon, this is how many runners reported experiencing upper respiratory tract infection symptoms, taking a placebo. But, if instead, they had the equivalent of a daily spoonful of nutritional yeast, they cut their rates in half. What’s even more remarkable is that they felt better. Asked how they felt on a scale of one to ten, people taking the sugar pills were like, okay, down around four or five. But, those taking identical-looking capsules of the fiber found in nutritional yeast were up at like six or seven.”
Where can you find nutritional yeast? Check out any health food store or simply search online.
The most newly-discovered of the three (ironically because molecular hydrogen is one of the building blocks of life itself), molecular hydrogen has been demonstrated to have powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects. Uniquely, it’s one of the ONLY antioxidants that can be used IMMEDIATELY after exercise that won’t interfere with the beneficial hormetic effects of training.
To get a full explanation of how molecular hydrogen can help athletes, check out these two resources:
H2 Minutes with Tywon Hubbard – Hydrogen Water Benefits For Athletes
The good news is it’s now incredibly easy to get the benefits of molecular hydrogen with our ultra-high concentration trusii H2 systems and tablets. You may even be eligible for compensation within our at-home case study. Visit the link below for more information!