Overtraining Effects On Immunity And Performance In Athletes Pdf
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To better understand how sick an athlete will become when they have an infection, a paradigm recently adopted from ecological immunology is presented that includes the concepts of immune resistance the ability to destroy microbes and immune tolerance the ability to dampen defence yet control infection at a non-damaging level. This affords a new theoretical perspective on how nutrition may influence athlete immune health; paving the way for focused research efforts on tolerogenic nutritional supplements to reduce the infection burden in athletes. Looking through this new lens clarifies why nutritional supplements targeted at improving immune resistance in athletes show limited benefits: evidence supporting the old paradigm of immune suppression in athletes is lacking. Indeed, there is limited evidence that the dietary practices of athletes suppress immunity, e. It goes without saying, irrespective of the dietary preference omnivorous, vegetarian , that athletes are recommended to follow a balanced diet to avoid a frank deficiency of a nutrient required for proper immune function.
Moderate levels of regular exercise seem to reduce our susceptibility to illness compared with an inactive lifestyle but long hard bouts of exercise and periods of intensified training put athletes at increased risk of colds and flu.
Upper respiratory tract infections URTIs are the most common ones that people get and include the common cold, sinusitis and tonsillitis. Most are due to an infection with a virus. The average adult has two to four URTIs each year and young children have twice as many. We are constantly exposed to the viruses that cause these infections, but some people seem more susceptible to catching URTIs than others.
Every day our immune system protects us from an army of pathogenic microbes that bombard the body. These factors can suppress the immune system, making a person more vulnerable to infection.
Researchers have found a link between moderate regular exercise and reduced frequency of URTIs compared with an inactive state and also with excessive amounts of exercise and an increased risk of URTIs. A one year study of over adults found that participating in hours of moderate exercise per day was associated with a one third reduction in the risk of getting a URTI compared with individuals that had an inactive lifestyle Nieman et al.
More is not always better in terms of exercise volume as other studies have reported a 2 to 6 fold increase in risk in developing an URTI in the weeks following marathon This is due, in part, to increased levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that suppress white blood cell functions. After strenuous exercise, athletes enter a brief period of time in which they experience weakened immune resistance and are more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections, in particular URTIs.
Another problem for athletes is that their exposure to pathogenic disease causing microorganisms in the environment may be higher than normal due to increased rate and depth of breathing during exercise increasing exposure of the lungs to airborne pathogens , exposure to large crowds and frequent foreign travel.
Some of the reported sore throats may not be due to infectious agents but to non-infectious airway inflammation caused by allergies or inhalation of pollutants and cold dry air.
A common perception is that exposure to cold wet weather can increase the likelihood of catching the common cold but the available evidence does not support this. Most people are more susceptible to colds in winter which is possibly due to reduced vitamin D status at this time but numerous studies on athletes indicate that they tend to be most susceptible to picking up infections at times close to competition.
This usually follows a period of intensive training and added mental stress with the anxiety of wanting to perform well. The worry for athletes is that even a mild infection can impair their ability to perform at the highest level. Preventing infections is therefore very important to them and they can help themselves by ensuring good personal hygiene, good nutrition and minimizing other life stresses.
These illness prevention strategies are discussed in future articles in the following blogs:. Part 1: Behavioural, lifestyle and medical strategies. Part 2: Nutritional, training, psychological and monitoring strategies. How common are illnesses amongst athletes? International Olympic Committee consensus statement on load in sport. London: Routledge Taylor and Francis. British Journal of Sports Medicine Click here.
If you want to know more about supplements, the benefits and the risks. General sports nutrition topics can be found here. Effects of exercise on immune function and risk of infection. Recent Posts See All. Timing of iron intake: Tips to maximise absorption. Post not marked as liked 6. Will women outperform men in ultra-endurance events? Post not marked as liked 4. Preventing and managing gut issues. Post not marked as liked 5. All Posts posts GI problems 19 19 posts Running 20 20 posts Carbohydrate 45 45 posts Cycling 22 22 posts Science 28 28 posts Weight management 13 13 posts Diets 16 16 posts Supplements 32 32 posts Immune function 17 17 posts Recovery 43 43 posts Sports nutrition 48 48 posts Protein 22 22 posts Hydration 10 10 posts Micronutrients 4 4 posts Fat 13 13 posts Blog posts News 11 11 posts Body composition 6 6 posts Injury 6 6 posts Team sport 9 9 posts Caffeine 6 6 posts.
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Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. Corpus ID: The immune system and overtraining in athletes: clinical implications. Hackney and Kristen J. Hackney , Kristen J.
Nutrition and Athlete Immune Health: New Perspectives on an Old Paradigm
Moderate levels of regular exercise seem to reduce our susceptibility to illness compared with an inactive lifestyle but long hard bouts of exercise and periods of intensified training put athletes at increased risk of colds and flu. Upper respiratory tract infections URTIs are the most common ones that people get and include the common cold, sinusitis and tonsillitis. Most are due to an infection with a virus. The average adult has two to four URTIs each year and young children have twice as many.
Overtraining Syndrome OTS is becoming increasingly common in athletes at all levels. Part of this increase relates to improved awareness and diagnosis, but a significant factor is the cumulative and synergistic impact of athletic stress and lifestyle stress. Preventative management and early recognition are essential to ensure the condition does not progress to a potentially dangerous and sport-ending stage. Overtraining Syndrome OTS describes a combination of physical and mental abnormalities that results from cumulative high-level physical activity that is not accompanied by adequate recovery.
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