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Are athletes more prone to colds and infection in the winter months?

As the winter months are starting to come upon us, there is an increased likelihood of becoming ill and getting colds and infection. For some, it leads to being ruled out of competition and this can be during a crucial period. Football especially, this is the time where some of the major teams have cup games and can play up to 3 times a week. Therefore, looking after yourself and getting the most effective recovery could be the factor between your team losing or winning.

 

For Coaches

Where coaches go wrong is the reason WHY their athletes are becoming ill. It seems that cold weather is the prime reason, where the body can’t deal with the conditions as well. However, the likelihood is due to a build-up of high intensity training and game play. You can be in the greatest shape, yet still catch certain illnesses; we’re all human. Consequently, an adequate ratio to training volume and recovery needs to be attained. As well as implementing well planned out nutrition.

 

Ever noticed that your team is becoming ill around the same time? This doesn’t just happen in the winter months, perhaps in the stages of pre-season when exercise intensity is most prevalent. Preventing illness within a team comes down to many factors, but mainly: management of training loads, adequate sleep, nutritional consumption and personal hygiene.

 

So…

Make sure you’re getting the right nutrients by including antioxidants and inflammatory foods in your diet. Research has shown intense exercise to decrease levels of white blood cells to help fight infection, which means there’s added stress to the body during this time. Therefore, it’s important to focus on what you put into your body as well.

Don’t let something as simple as dropping a load of training or not including one or two extra food sources be a reason for not being able to compete.

 

Molly Collinson

20th January 2018

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