Coach Steph – Immune System Support

Keeping my immune system strong is for me the biggest issue to deal with as a working Dad with two kids under 6. Endorphins are your friend (feel good hormones) and Cortisol is the enemy. Endorphins will be released in your blood stream with an easy and short work out but as soon as you train long and/or hard, cortisol will be released in the blood stream as an anti inflammatory response. This will affect your immune system and will make you more prone of catching a virus or injury.

Monitoring your training program, volume and intensity as well as drinking, sleeping and eating well should be priority number one. But there are a few tricks I use to help stay healthy.

  1. Don’t do a low carb diet (from Ali Paterson)

There is good evidence that carbohydrates support your immune system by stopping the rise of cortisol  and other stress hormones. It is important that during heavy training, particularly during the winter months, that athletes are proactive with their carbohydrate intake around exercise. Think pre-training fuelling, topping up carbohydrates during long sessions and also within 30-60mins of completing a session for recovery.


2) Use amino acid after training sessions

My favourite post work out product is Cabot Health’s Glutamine Pure Powder. It is a natural amino acid vital for muscle growth. Read more about it here.

3) Don’t be afraid of taking supplements if made in Australia

I never recommend to purchase products or vitamins from the US or Asia as the chance of contamination is too high. Ephedrine or steroids have been found in overseas products amongst other ingredients not listed on the packaging. If you get drug tested, you might fail the test and there is no excuse for ignorance.

I highly recommend Cabot Health’s Selenium and Bacto Clear  which are great for immune health and I take them in the winter. I also take zinc and vitamin D supplements all year round and I make sure that I get my daily intake of vitamin C and iron.

Further Reading:

Creatine Kinase – Muscle Damage Marker

Hormones & Endurance Training

Nutrition & Immunity in Tri Training