Of the challenges faced by tennis players of all levels, injury is probably the worst, though it doesn’t happen nearly as often as sickness. Have you ever been on the court, and your opponent had a nasty cold? They’re coughing and/or sneezing, and have to blow their nose every other game. And they’re touching the same balls that you touch… Uggghhh!! And then a week later, YOU’VE got a nasty cold?
Been there, done that!
And this happens because tennis players and athletes, in general, tend to put their off-court energy into building a stronger body, and either overlook or ignore their immune system.
Immune support is not hard to achieve, especially if you apply these four tips:
Push protein whey up
Protein may not be the first thing people think of in regards to the immune system, but it’s the most critical. Whey protein, in particular can better help the body maintain optimal protein status because of its rich content of essential amino acids, which our muscles require for growth and maintenance, and our immune systems depend on for optimal response.
Think zinc… and echinacea and colostrum
The immune system is at the highest risk of compromise during extreme activities. Fortunately, studies have found that there are a few natural ingredients that can target the immune system in key ways to give it a boost:
- Zinc – plays a critical role in proper function and development of immune cells, such as T-cells.
- Echinacea – a flowering plant whose whose medicinal purposes date back centuries.
- Colostrum – the first form of milk produced by a cow after giving birth, which contains a range of immune-protecting substances, including immunoglobulins, proline-rich polypeptides, and lactoferrin.
These ingredients can be found together in pill and spray form, but the latter makes it a convenient way to bolster defense daily, before and after exercise.
Keep on the sunny side
Tennis players who are outside regularly, probably don’t have a shortage of vitamin D, although that might not be the case during the winter months. Being indoors due to the colder weather means less vitamin D, and this can cause problems since the body depends on it for proper immune system response.
To ensure a stronger immune system, we need roughly ** 2000 IU of vitamin D every day, which cannot be obtained through food alone. Since very few foods contain vitamin D, it can be difficult to meet your daily requirements, but there are some great supplements out there which can make all the difference.
** Older people, and those with a family history of osteoporosis should contact their doctor, as they require more.
Sleep it off
Research has shown that inadequate sleep can actually alter genes, including those involved in the immune system response. Therefore proper shut-eye is important. And for those times when insomnia is a problem, natural supplements containing melatonin can help. Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in our bodies, which our brains produce when it’s time to sleep.
When getting proper shut-eye is a problem, you can choose from supplements or fast-acting sprays.
As tennis players, we need strong bodies AND strong immune systems. If you’d like more information about some incredible supplements, please contact me!! I can help!!