In continuation of our immune system series, one key factor affecting the immune system is heavy exercise.
Whilst moderate exercise may improve function, hard, prolonged training, or increased match volume, is one of the main factors which may depress immune function.
Hard training depresses white blood cell function, increasing the risk of infection from invading viruses and bacteria.
Footballers are more vulnerable during this ‘open window’ due to a range of factors, such as stress, travel and even weather changes.
To minimise this open window to infection, it is important to have adequate recovery time between sessions and matches (where possible), and to ensure that pre- and post-training nutrition is aligned with these demands (alongside other key principles such as sufficient sleep, good hygiene, etc.).
Image: Champions League
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