No One's Immune To Overtraining

With cold and flu season just around the corner, this is a good time to revisit the hazards of overtraining. We all have fitness goals, some more ambitious than others. And while striving to reach the next level is pretty much a universal mindset among serious athletes, overtraining can easily knock you back down a few steps – or more.

While moderate exercise boosts your body's immune functions, an imbalance between hard training and recovery can suppress your body's ability to ward off upper respiratory tract infections, the flu and other illnesses. A recent review of data, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, stated that physical activity was most likely to adversely impact the immune system when exercise was continuous and prolonged (1-1/2 hours), performed at 55% to 75% of maximum effort, and initiated without eating.

The Bigger Picture: Along with the physical parameters, take note the nutritional aspects of this study's findings. It's more proof that there's no substitute for eating right. That's why many strength athletes drink a protein shake before and after training. The microfractions found in whey protein isolates help replace glutathione levels that can be reduced during heavy workouts and are known to support immune system health. Then be sure to give your muscles enough time to recover. You want to keep going strong all season long.
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