BY STEVE BORN
Staying healthy is always important, but as we start the transition from winter to spring (yes, it will get here eventually) that means higher training volume in preparation for key events not too far down the road. You don’t want to miss this all-important part of the training year due to sickness, so adopt these 10 Tips to keep your immune system strong and you ahead of the game.
1) Wash your hands with soap and hot water frequently. This is the beginning of infection control. Thoroughly washing with soap and hot water greatly promotes the destruction of germs, which avoids transmitting them to yourself or others.
2) Eat a healthy diet, containing a variety of whole plant foods. There are nearly countless, health-benefiting compounds (phytonutrients) in whole fruits and vegetables—the sulforaphane in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) is an excellent example—and the best way to obtain maximum amounts of these all-important nutrients is to “eat the rainbow,” meaning to consume fruits and vegetables in a range of different colors.
3) Supplement your diet with a variety of antioxidant nutrients. Supporting strong immunity requires the intake of a wide range of free-radical neutralizing antioxidants. Premium Insurance Caps, Race Caps Supreme, Mito Caps, Super Antioxidant, and AO Booster should be daily "staples" in your supplement program. And don’t forget that eye-opening study we wrote about, the one where the participants who took a multivitamin/mineral supplement enjoyed 60% fewer sick days than the participants who did not supplement.
4) Use Whey Protein regularly. Whey protein is a rich source of glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine, the three amino acids required for glutathione production, glutathione considered by many experts as the number one antioxidant of all. The added glutamine in Whey Protein (6 grams per scoop!) is also an outstanding glutathione precursor. Additionally, whey protein contains unique proteins called immunoglobulins that help stimulate immune function.
5) Take a probiotic supplement (Life-Biotics Super 15 or Digest Caps) daily. The Greek physician, Hippocrates, once stated, “all disease begins in the gut,” and we believe that’s true to some degree. When the healthy bacteria in the digestive system are destroyed—and this can be caused by infections, poor diet, stress, overuse of NSAID medications, antibiotics, and even chlorinated water—it allows undesirable bacteria to flourish and compromise digestive system function, nutrient absorption, intestinal health, and immunity. Taking a probiotic supplement daily helps tip the scales in favor of the “good guys.” If you under exceptional stress, finishing a course of antibiotics, or are just run down and feel like a cold is coming on, start with a 2-week course of Life-Biotics Super 15 (2 capsules daily), followed by a 2-capsule-a-day dose of Digest Caps.
6) Protect and support your liver with LSA Caps. The liver works hard enough as it is every single day to detoxify, filter, and help remove harmful toxins, chemicals, and bacteria in the blood, as well as toxins that we are exposed to daily. It has to work even harder when our immune system is being taxed. Among the multi-beneficial nutrients found in LSA Caps is NAC (n-acetyl cysteine), which not only has antioxidant properties of its own, it is also a superb precursor for bodily production of glutathione.
7) Take Clear Day every day, not just during allergy season (which is coming up soon anyway). Though known primarily for helping to protect you from allergy occurrences and for powerfully alleviating allergy symptoms—and it is outstanding for that—Clear Day contains four nutrients that many nutritional experts consider to be immune system “superstars.”
8) Making sure you’re drinking sufficient amounts of pure, clean water. Take your body weight in pounds and multiply by 0.5 to 0.6. This is the number of ounces of fluids you should drink—primarily from pure, clean water—every day.
9) Reduce stress as much as possible. Along with exercise, making time for massage, prayer, and meditation on a consistent basis are great ways to combat stress and help keep it at bay. Also, as we’ve read about in previous editions of Endurance News Weekly, uncontrolled stress leads to excess cortisol levels, which has a whole host of negative health consequences associated with it. Including healthy fats in your diet from foods such as salmon, avocados, chia seeds, olive oil, and more—along with daily doses of EndurOmega—is one of the best ways to address excess cortisol and stress. Hammer CBD and Essential Mg are two other Hammer Nutrition supplements that should be in your daily supplement regimen for a plethora or reasons, including helping your body address both excess cortisol and stress and counter its effects.
10) Get adequate amounts of sleep. Longtime triathlete, coach, and Hammer Nutrition client, Nate Llerandi, labeled the lack of quality sleep as “the ultimate performance killer,” and stated, “Sleep deprivation can put you in one of the worst holes you'll ever experience. It goes hand in hand with overtraining, erratic training, and poor performances.” Given all the negative health issues associated with poor sleep, especially in regards to heart health, poor athletic performance is the least of your problems if you’re not obtaining sufficient amounts of quality sleep. Hammer CBD and REM Caps are two outstanding products that will greatly assist you in improving sleep quality and duration.
Stay healthy and keep Hammering!