4 TIPS TO SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IN WINTER
Winter can be a challenging time of year, especially when it comes to immunity and susceptibility for illness. The combination of colder temperatures, dry air, and busy holiday schedules all play havoc with your immune system and your emotional health.
Our Sports Nutritionist Freddie explains how to stay in peak performance, following these four tips.
1. PRIORITISE ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS
Over 70% of our immune cells are in the lining of the gut and are supported by a diverse community of bacteria that live there. What we feed our gut can determine our energy levels, concentration, sleep, and even our immunity.
Research suggests that gut bacteria influence both the innate and acquired immune system. Supporting your microbiome is a priority to support your immune system.
What is the best way to do this? Consume plenty of fibre from wholegrains and fruit and vegetables. The more colour in your diet means more fibre and more antioxidants. Along with this, fermented foods are great at nurturing your gut and create a beneficial environment.
Try to avoid things that may be comforting to consume, (especially in the winter), but have little benefit to your body. This includes refined sugars, alcohol and refined flours. As we get closer to Christmas and the indulgent season, be aware of the high sugar content in certain foods and alcohol – planning a few days alcohol free during the holidays can help.
2. MOVE MORE
Research shows how exercise can influence a healthy gut which can in turn, affect immunity.
Exercise plays a huge role in keeping us healthy, and therefore helps us build a strong immune system against recurrent infections. Exercise also supports the production of our feel-good hormones (boosting mood and immunity further). Serotonin is a ‘feel-good’ hormone, that regulates inflammation and recruits innate immune cells to sites of inflammation. Some immune cells (mast cells & T lymphocytes) release serotonin, expanding the range of tissues for serotonin signalling.
Numerous studies show that those who consistently take part in physical exercise become frequently less ill throughout the year, as they build a stronger immune system.
3. KEEP HYDRATED
The colder temperatures can have us reaching out for warmer drinks like teas and coffees, but your priority is to consume the full spectrum of electrolytes alongside water. Complete hydration is a key element to maintaining a healthy immune system.
Our immune system is highly dependent on the nutrients in our blood stream, and our blood stream is made up of mostly, water. Hydration increases lymphatic draining to ensure accumulated toxins and waste materials are effectively removed.
Dehydration can reduce the production of serotonin, leading to more frequent illness and impacting mood.
Totum Sport Nite contains all 78 electrolytes that act directly in the body to effectively bring water into individual cells to hydrate and remove toxins and waste products whilst you sleep. Totum Sport Nite also mirrors the internal terrain of the body, having a therapeutic effect on the body – improving immunity and digestion.
Rest is sometimes as important as training. Sleep is a priority in all aspects of life, especially if you’re training hard.
Sleep science has increasingly developed, showcasing the importance of sleep of each system in the body, including the immune system. Consistent sleep strengthens the immune system, on the other hand, lack of sleep, can throw off the immune system and increase your susceptibility to illness.
Researchers have found that during a night of high-quality sleep, certain components of the immune system are modulated. This is because in deep sleep, muscle activity slows down, freeing up energy for the immune system to perform critical tasks.
Dehydration can negatively impact sleep and make you feel groggy the following day. Totum Sport Nite works to enhance deeper sleep each night through proper hydration, by providing the perfect proportions of all 78 electrolytes.
Enjoy yourself this Christmas but keep these four tips in mind to keep you powering through and become less susceptible to illness.