Don’t let the cold break you – nutritional support

Physical activity has a big influence on how the immune system works. If you prone to infections, you should pay close attention to some elements.

Prolonged high-intensity trainings may unfavourably influence the immune system. They contribute to reducing the quantity of white blood cells (leukocytes) causing the-so-called immunosuppression induced by physical activity. During the immunosuppression, the immune system is impaired, opening the-so-called “immunological window” for microorganisms. This sort of change can last up to 72 hours. Moreover, inappropriate regeneration following the training, bad diet, insufficient amount of vitamins and minerals, increased oxidative stress, tiredness and insufficient amount of sleep – all of those can cause frequent breaks during the physical activity and as a result – a  cold. If you prone to  infections,  you should pay close attention to some elements.


Taking liquids during the physical activity prevents dehydration of the organism. It influences saliva secretion which contains antimicrobial proteins. Saliva secretion is reduced during exercising and in combination with dehydration, the secretion of  antimicrobial proteins is reduced as well. Regularly taken liquids in amounts of 100–250 ml every 20 minutes prevent from developing the situation described above.

Good bacteria

Probiotics are live bacteria cultures and when eaten in appropriate amounts have a positive influence on a host’s health. You will find them in food products such as buttermilk, kephir, fermented veggies such as pickled cucumbers, cabbage and in form of pills or sachets with soluble powder. Probiotics for active people should include Lactobacillus or/and Bifidobacterium bacteria type.

A snack during training.

Small snack eaten during the activity may positively influence the immune system. Applying carbohydrates-rich diet and introducing them during prolonged trainings (30–60 g/h, for example bananas, isotonic drink, dates) lowers the level of circulating stress hormones and delays fatigue appearance.

Personal hygiene

Clean your hands – the more often, the better. Personal hygiene will prevent from catching a cold.


If you have any questions, write to me ;)

PSS Dietary Consultant, Erwina Szymczyk