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Illness in Athletes - 5 Tips to Boost Immunity

Illness in Athletes - 5 Tips to Boost Immunity

How to prevent illness when training

We all suffer from colds and other illnesses from time to time, but research shows that athletes are more susceptible to illness than those who don’t exercise. There’s nothing worse than being laid up in bed with no energy to train, especially when it’s in the middle of a season or right before an important game. We've put together a handful of tips to try and boost your immune system and cut the amount of time spent out of action with illness.
Whilst most people tend to believe that cold and wet weather cause illness, athletes tend to be at most risk in the build-up to big competitions and events. As the training load and intensity increases and the mental stress and pressures to perform well begin to mount, athletes’ immune systems can become weakened. Even a mild infection or illness can massively impair performance so it’s vital that athletes do all they can to stay healthy and good nutrition is key.

1. Variety is Key

Although there’s not one specific food or nutrient related to the immune system, it's widely agreed that a varied and balanced diet will help to keep you healthy. Make sure every meal contains a good source of protein, carbohydrates and plenty of fruit and veg. Don’t forget to include essential fats in there as well, such as nuts, seeds and dairy products and limit the amount of processed foods you eat.

2. Eat the Rainbow

Deficiency in various different nutrients can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of illness. Fruit and vegetables are high in loads of different immunity-boosting nutrients. Make sure you’re getting your 5-a-day and eat plenty of different kinds too. Aim for a colourful plate and you'll easily tick this off!

3. Fuel Your Body

Eating a carbohydrate-rich meal before and after a big workout will prevent your glycogen stores from becoming depleted which is known to increase stress hormones and suppress immune function. Don’t forget to include a good protein source as well to replenish those tired muscles and keep your immune system in tip-top condition.

4. Don’t Skip Meals

Not consuming enough calories is a sure-fire way to increase your chances of illness. Energy restriction combined with intense training will greatly increase stress hormones, like cortisol, in the body as well as increasing the chances of vitamin deficiencies. Both of which will ultimately end up in a weaker immune system and more time ill.

5. Get in the Vitamin C

Because we can’t always prevent illness and infection, knowing what to do when we’re feeling under the weather is key to reducing time spent on the sidelines. Vitamin C has been found to reduce the incidence and duration of colds in athletes. So remember to reach for that glass of orange juice to help your body fight off infection when you’re feeling run down.
NUTRI-TEEN Food Powder may also be a convenient source of vitamin C and other immune-boosting vitamins and minerals whenever whole foods aren't available.

We’ve created the world’s first food powder shake tailored specifically to active youths. Not only is it a great source of protein, but each shake also contains a specific blend of fats, carbs and 16 essential micronutrients to ensure athletes get everything their body needs to perform and its best. NUTRI-TEEN Shakes are specifically designed to cater to the nutritional needs of active youths, this food powder can help fill in any dietary gaps, providing the high-quality protein that's crucial for muscle recovery and growth.

Available in several kid-approved flavours, these food powder shakes offer a quick, easy, and tasty way to boost your child's protein intake. What sets NUTRI-TEEN shakes apart is their focus on supporting youths during their vital growth and development phases, as well as facilitating recovery.

Please remember, these food powder shakes are not meant to replace a balanced diet of whole foods. Instead, they're designed to complement it, particularly when your child's dietary needs are heightened due to intense training sessions. If ensuring adequate protein through food alone is proving difficult, consider adding YSN NUTRI-TEEN shakes to your young athlete's nutritional plan for that added support.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general information about nutrition for youth athletes and is not meant to replace professional dietary advice or individual nutritional counselling. Every child's nutritional needs can vary due to factors such as age, size, physical activity level, and medical conditions. We strongly recommend consulting with a registered dietitian or a healthcare provider before making changes to your child's diet, such as adding food powders. YSN and the author of this article do not take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, dietary modification, action, or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this article.

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