Exercise and Your Immune System

The connection between exercise and immune health is a delicate one and includes quite a bit of complexity and science. This article is a good overview and introduction to the concept…

“As fitness professionals, we know that exercise can help boost the body’s immune system. But did you know that physical activity can actually produce an inflammatory response, leading to chronic inflammation? And when a body becomes chronically inflamed, a host of negative and potentially injurious conditions can result.

Like other stressors in our lives—allergic reactions, lack of sleep, emotional duress, poor nutritional intake and excess body fat—exercise can directly affect the body’s complex immune system and produce a cascading effect of inflammatory responses.”

Exercise and the Inflammation Process

Supplements vs. Foods

This is a controversial topic; so let’s start by stating a simple truth. Supplements are just that – a supplement to a healthy diet. They are called supplements and not “replacements” for good reason. Nothing can act as a substitute for a robust and varied diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and essential fatty acids. See Paleo or Hunter Gatherer diets for one of the best examples of a superior path to good nutrition.

However, the above being said, there are three very good reasons for people to seek out the right, high-quality supplements to augment their already healthy diet – especially athletes.

First, there are plants, roots and mushrooms from around the world (many used for centuries) that offer very specific, well documented and understood health and nutrition benefits that are simply not found in the produce section of your neighborhood store. The key ingredients found in any one of these doesn’t exist in western fruits and vegetables. Therefore the only way to consume it would be to go to its place of origin – likely on the other side of the globe – to find it, and eat it. It’s both a practicality and convenience issue.

One example: Ultra Immune’s ten ingredients would pose quite the challenge in sourcing and preparing easily. Each one plays a critical role in the mix and in supporting the immune system. There is not a practical way to “swap” any one of these ingredients with some sort of local alternative. We’ve tried. If you want the blended nutritional value of the herbs, mushrooms and roots found in our product – the only way to get it is in a supplement form.

Second, many plants, mushrooms and herbs begin to lose a portion of their nutritional value immediately after harvest. Certain foods “decay” faster than others – place a pealed apple on the table and come back in an hour. In the case of the Acemannan ingredient in Aloe, we have just minutes from harvest, to fillet, to manufacturing, before oxidation destroys the nutritional value we are working to lock in. Eating the plant or gel isn’t enough – it’s the time from harvest to processing (the correct processing) that matters in order to capture the nutritional benefit you expect.

Finally, by nature of the extreme training and physical exertion by athletes, their bodies burn through a lot of nutrients. Yes, by eating healthy you can likely consume enough of the vitamin/mineral basics – but if you’re a hyper-competitive athlete or train on a daily basis, is “likely” good enough? Do you really want to run the risk of being short of one of the many vitamins, minerals or micronutrients needed to reach absolute peak performance and feel your best every day?

Taking a natural, whole food supplement is a convenient insurance policy on your nutrition – one extra thing you can do to create an edge and maximize performance (more to say on this subject in future posts).

The verdict? Both are essential. Eating a healthy and varied diet will provide your body with all the vitamin and mineral basics needed to function normally. But when you are looking to go beyond the basics, look to a quality supplement partner to provide the necessary support.

Five Additional Ways to Support Your Immune System

Even though it’s important to support your immune system throughout the year, the winter months can often pose an even more daunting challenge. In addition to Ultra Immune, below are five things to keep in mind. Taken from Harvard Medical School’s “How to boost your immune system.”

  • Sleep. Do not underestimate the importance of a full night’s sleep in keeping immune function strong.
  • Avoid close encounters. Wash hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Eat healthy. Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients to keep the body healthy and strong. Quality food matters.
  • Control stress. Physical and emotional stress can depress immune function. Relax. Decompress. De-stress.
  • Moderate alcohol. When you drink, do so in moderation.

Stay healthy and strong this flu season.

www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/how-to-boost-your-immune-system.htm

 

Why these ten ingredients?

Having a background in Biomedical Science, I’ve been a student and passionate consumer of health and nutrition products most of my life. Although a raving fan of supplements overall  (it’s challenging to get all that we need from the American diet), I also recognized that not all supplements are created equal. It’s not only the actual ingredient list, but how they are sourced, handled, extracted, blended, manufactured and stored.

One of biggest frustrations in the immune category was the broad array of known healthful ingredients but all packaged separately. Do I really need to buy five different products to get what I need?

Which ones were really the best, have a history of efficacy, and which should I be taking daily. Some ingredients, such as Echinacea, are not meant to be taken daily. We spent over two years investigating various ingredients, interviewing practitioners and herbalists, soliciting input from the scientific community and subject matter experts across the Natural Products and supplement industry. The goal: create the collective “wish list” of ingredients for the ultimate immune support product.

After compiling all the information and years of practical experience – we ended up with a list of ten (10) key ingredients. Each one is included for good reason and in quantities that make a difference (an important differentiator). We wanted a product with a vast array of ingredients, all of which help to support the immune system in different ways. After all, the body is the most complicated and sophisticated machine you will ever own. Let’s make sure we deliver a strong list of ingredients and maximize the opportunity for great immune health. Our final solution is Ultra Immune’s Daily Immune Support.

Why Start Ultra Immune?

We are often asked the impetus to create and launch Ultra Immune. Ultimately, it was to help and have a positive impact for as many people as possible. Virtually everyone goes through periods of needing that extra level of immune system support. We certainly did – parents of young children, sleep deprivation do to work and life, training hard, travel, etc.

We searched for products that contained all of the ingredients we needed and wanted, consulted with practitioners and herbalists, delved into research – but the product simply didn’t exist. Not even close. Certainly not as a clean, whole food, all natural liquid product with ten real ingredients. So we decided to create it…for our family, for our friends and for others.

It’s been quite the journey and is still in its infancy. The more time we spend in the Natural Products industry, the more we’ve come to respect both it and the people fighting to a make a healthful difference in the world. Our commitment is to continue creating and marketing unique and compelling products. We will do right by our customers, employees and partners. Focus on value, results and excellence. And leave the world a better place. Rob & Amy – Founders.