Previous Performance Tips have focused on factors that impact immune response and immune health. We like to think that our immune response is an independent defense system that seeks out and destroys foreign invaders. That is not the case. Our immune response is significantly affected by health and mood factors such as high stress. Acute stress can help athletes perform better, however, chronic stress plays havoc with our overall health and our immune response. Individuals with elevated, sustained levels of stress have a diminished immune response and are more prone to upper respiratory infections.
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Posted by Dr. Robert Portman on 3/25/2020 to Performance Tip Of The Week
Last week’s Tip focused on the important role of exercise in maintaining immune system health. The media is communicating nonstop how to minimize exposure to COVID-19 (social distancing, frequent hand washing, listening to health officials). I’ve also been asked if there are products that support immune health. One group of natural products which may offer a benefit are adaptogenic herbs or adaptogens.
Posted by Dr. Robert Portman on 3/18/2020 to Performance Tip Of The Week
Individuals at most risk for the severe effects of coronavirus have other medical complications or a compromised immune system. We know there is a strong link between hard exercise and our body’s defense system and the link is the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol levels, which increase during moderate to high intensity exercise, negatively impact our body’s defense mechanisms. Therefore the logical question is whether exercise increases our susceptibility to the coronavirus. To the contrary, multiple studies show individuals who exercise regularly have a stronger immune system than sedentary individuals. However, the benefits of exercise on your immune response is directly related to...
Posted by Dr. Robert Portman on 3/5/2020 to Performance Tip Of The Week
As we age there is a predictable decline in our immune function. Compromised immunity begins in early adulthood and accelerates rapidly after 40 years of age. Scientist call this Immunosenescence. Immunosenescence explains why older people are at greater risk of infections and diseases. As we age, our immune system does not respond as robustly to allergens and other challenges...
Posted by Dr. Robert Portman on 2/26/2020 to Performance Tip Of The Week
Intuitively one would expect that individuals who exercise on most days over the course of the week would derive greater health advantages than those who cram their exercise into the weekend, the weekend warriors. A number of studies have suggested that regular exercise over the week delivers more health benefits but these studies involved self-reported activity and are certainly open to error. A recently published study took a more analytical approach to the question of whether regular or concentrated exercise activity is best...
Posted by Dr. Robert Portman on 1/13/2020 to Performance Tip Of The Week
There is a spirited discussion on the Internet on whether endurance athletes would benefit from taking coffee or caffeine. A google search shows thousands of citations dealing with the pros and cons of coffee versus caffeine. Much of this discussion may be a result of a personal bias, whether you own a Starbucks or manufacture caffeine pills, or caffeine containing drinks or gels. The core question is whether caffeine regardless of form improves endurance performance...