The Key to Preventing Immune System Shutdown and Central Fatigue

Posted: Friday, 23 March 2012 by Strength&Nutrition24/7 in Labels: , , ,

The Immune System

Moderate training improves immune function

  • Intense & prolonged training/competition event inhibit immune status for up to 6hrs
  • During these 6 hrs athlete are most susceptible to attacks on the lymphocytes from a variety of immune infections
  • Most common in athletes competing and training in endurance exercises
  • Increase susceptibility to URTI’s that usually lead to ear infections and colds for prolonged periods of time

What can be done?

  • Prevent unnecessary infection – hygiene
  • Enhance immune system
  • Rest (proper sleep)


  • Conditionally essential amino acid
  • Vital metabolic fuel during exercise for ta variety of components of the  immune system
  • Enhancement of protein & glycogen synthesis
  • Low glutamine levels post-exercise for extended periods of time equate to immune suppression
  • blood glutamine levels  reduced due to exercise can last up to 6hrs post-training
  • In order to resist this one should attempt to replace it before, during or after training
  • Chronic low blood glutamine levels = harder for body to respond to attacks on the immune system
  • Leads to hindered health profiles and performance


  • Large contribution to athlete’s and exercise participants nutritional needs
  • Enhances energy balance during intense training
  • Enhances immune system health while contributing to performance
  • Leads to optimal performance

Vitamin C

  • Antioxidant
  • Assists with iron absorption
  • Reduces susceptibility to URTI’s in endurance athletes
  • Improves immune system function during strenuous exercise
  • No benefit found in literature fir moderate but significant in intense
  • However for the general public most need additional vitamin c and will benefit their general health


  • Constituent of enzymes that readily assist in digestive process
  • Essential trace element in enzymes for normal metabolism
  • 25-100mg/d has been shown to reduce cold symptoms and help limit URTI’s
  • Supplementation has shown to reduce elderly hospitalisation and liver plasticity
  • May enhance immune system More research needed – athletic population because athletes have been found to often be zinc deficient


  • Labelled the “immune herb”
  • Diminishes the onset of cold symptoms
  • Helps eliminate URTI’s
  • Limited to no research for athletes and exercise populations
  • More research needed

  • Antonio, J. (2008). Essentials of sports nutrition and supplements. Totowa, N.J: Humana Press.
  • Picture was retrieved from