Inflammation is always a warning signal. Athletes in particular are familiar with the phenomenon of the inflammatory processes. Frequently, bursae, tendons, or joint capsules are affected.

Basically, however, the problems can occur in a wide variety of regions of the musculoskeletal system. Sport is murder – or so you might think. However, studies prove the opposite, even when it comes to inflammation.

We reveal how sport in the right dosage can counteract redness, swelling, and the like. In addition, we give tips on how to achieve good recovery.

Sport And Inflammation: the Turn-off in Sports

You’re in the middle of a workout and then it happens: your wrist aches, it’s red and swollen. The classic signs of inflammation indicate that the sports sessions have taken their toll on your body.

The causes of inflammatory processes vary. In the case of athletes, external stimuli related to overuse or incorrect use are often responsible for the discomfort. Intense or monotonous activities can overload the joints and associated soft tissues. As a result, the immune system initiates responses that send your body the message, “That’s enough!”

Sport And Inflammation: No Exercise Is Not the Solution

When you rub your sore wrist after a workout, the thought may cross your mind that exercise isn’t doing your body any good. After all, workouts seem to drive inflammation in your body.

Put that thought aside real quick, because I’m about to prove you wrong. There are numerous studies that show that exercise can actually counteract inflammation. In fact, fitness and the immune system are mutually dependent.

Let’s look at what happens in your body when you exercise:

  1. Sport leads to a redistribution of leukocytes – These little helpers are responsible for your body’s defense against pathogens.
  2. Physical exertion sets natural killer cells in motion – These, in turn, recognize altered cells and annihilate them.
  3. Fitness training increases the number of regulatory T-cells in your body – These special immune cells have an anti-inflammatory effect.

In short: Your immune system benefits from exercise. One of the reasons is that physical activity helps fight inflammation. So no sports is not the solution. The key is regeneration. More on that later.

How Much Sport Is Healthy?

When it comes to sports, reflection is especially important. Instead of following blind ambition, you should listen to the signals your organism sends you. We, humans, are naturally endowed with a good sense of our bodies.

This is necessary because it allows us to quickly notice when something is wrong with our bodies. In principle, exercise is always positive. However, the organism sets us individual limits.

So it happens that sports enthusiasts have to sort out certain activities because the joints no longer play along. Instead of jogging, nordic walking or climbing can be interesting.

General rule: Beginners should start with a small dose of exercise and increase it gradually. Advanced athletes usually know their performance level. Nevertheless, this should also be regularly questioned. After all, underlying diseases or aging processes can force athletes to reduce their workload.

Sports physicians advise including at least half an hour of exercise per day. Studies show that just two hours of exercise a week can reduce the risk of heart attack by 25%. Valuable evidence was provided by a long-term study from Bad Schönborn. It showed that people who were active for two hours a week for 20 years had a fivefold lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

However, there is also an upper limit, because the health-promoting effect is not linear with exercise. 2-7 hours of exercise per week is considered healthy. If you exercise more, you can reverse the valuable effect, causing your risk of heart attack to rise again, for instance. So a lot does not necessarily help a lot.

But no matter how much you train, afterward, you should follow the unwritten law of regeneration.

Why Regeneration Is So Important

Regeneration is boring. After all, it forces you to pause. However, forced rest is important. Resting between performance sessions helps restore damaged tissue in your body. Even if you don’t let your muscles perform during this time, a whole lot happens in your organism. Cells are dividing briskly and defects are being repaired.

Did you know that muscle soreness is caused by small micro-tears in muscle fibers? Your body tries to heal them by initiating inflammatory reactions. As a result, water enters the fibers and accumulates there, causing the muscle to swell. You notice this in the form of muscle pain and hardening as muscle soreness. Inflammation therefore also plays a role in muscle soreness.

During the regeneration phase, the human body closes these tiny tears. In addition, your strength reserves are replenished so that you can start again with full power.

So regeneration is important. What happens when you do without it can be seen in particularly ambitious athletes. The permanent pressure to perform damages the organism. Defective joints, muscle injuries, and a weakening immune system are threatening. Your body needs regeneration to be able to “grow” in the long term.

Sport And Inflammation: Supporting Regeneration - 5 Tips

Source: Unsplash

Sport And Inflammation: Supporting Regeneration – 5 Tips

Sport is good for the body, even if it is stressful for the organism. Subsequent regeneration should be a fixed part of the plan so that the organism can catch its breath in between.

By the way: This period of rest is also important for the muscles. A study from Finland was able to prove that muscle growth does not occur during training but during the rest period.

To ensure that your regeneration is particularly effective, we have the following tips for you:

  1. Get enough sleep: A restful night’s sleep not only makes you fit for the day but also supports important regeneration processes. While you slumber peacefully, the most delicate muscle injuries that occur during training are mended. To ensure that your body can release the sleep hormone Melatonin undisturbed, you should avoid blue light before going to bed. Therefore, ban computers, televisions, and smartphones from your bedroom.
  2. Drink plenty: Your body consists of about 70 % water. It urgently needs fluids to transport nutrients and get rid of waste products. Water and sugar-free herbal teas are best suited to cover your daily fluid requirements. Alcohol, however, can negate the positive training effect and get in the way of recovery.
  3. Eat healthily: A balanced and varied diet provides your body with the nutrients it needs to carry out regeneration processes. This allows cells to divide and rebuild damaged tissue. It is best to eat seasonal and regional fruits and vegetables. Due to the extensive hours of sunshine, they contain a particularly high amount of vitamins.
  4. Benefit from cold and warmth: The alternation between cold and warm stimulates blood circulation. This supports regeneration processes. How about a visit to the sauna? If you sweat regularly in the heating chamber, you do something for your relaxation, your metabolism, and your immune system. Ice baths have also been proven to shorten the regeneration time. But be careful, it’s not for the faint of heart.
  5. Recover mentally as well: Too often, regeneration is limited to physical measures. However, it is also important that your head comes to rest. After all, body and mind are inextricably linked. After exhausting sports sessions, relaxation techniques such as yoga or progressive muscle relaxation are a real blessing. Find out for yourself what can restore your inner balance. Many people also rely on breathing exercises or long walks.

Extra Tip: Support Regeneration With Amino Acids

After a workout, your body needs amino acids. This way, your amino acid levels can be brought back up to full strength. This seems to make sense because selected studies suggest that the supply of amino acids can possibly alleviate strain-induced muscle damage or muscle pain.

The fact is, amino acids are important for muscles and regeneration. In particular, L-glutamine is recommended for athletes. The non-essential amino acid is said to shorten the regeneration period and optimize recovery.

This is attributed to the rapid replenishment of Glycogen stores. Glycogen is a form of storage that the body uses with the help of carbohydrates. The energy carrier is drawn on in particular during physical exertion.

If the Glycogen store is empty, there is also less energy available during the training. Studies have shown that the intake of L-glutamine significantly increases the storage of Glycogen after training, and does so better than carbohydrates.

L-Glutamine is particularly interesting for athletes and weight-conscious people because it is practically calorie-free.

L-Glutamine From Arktis Biopharma

The amino acid L-Glutamine is intended to support athletes in regeneration processes. For this reason, it must not be excluded from the product range of Arktis BioPharma. Our L-Glutamine is characterized by the fact that it is produced exclusively in Europe and completely without additives. The strictest quality controls and independent laboratory tests ensure that you receive a high-quality product from us.

Another plus: The Cologne Sports University has examined our Arktis Glutamin and confirmed that it does not contain any doping-relevant substances such as anabolic-androgenic steroids and other stimulants. Therefore, our product has been officially included in the Cologne List and is in this respect also suitable for athletes in competitions.

Your trust is very important to us. You will always receive a full declaration. Only what is written on it is inside. If you still have questions about the ingredients, you can always contact us by mail at post@arktisbiopharma.de.

Sources

  1. https://www.dshs-koeln.de/aktuelles/meldungen-pressemitteilungen/detail/meldung/sport-wirkt-entzuendungshemmend/
  2. https://www.germanjournalsportsmedicine.com/archiv/archiv-2019/issue-10/editorial-immunsystem-und-sport-eine-wechselhafte-beziehung/
  3. https://www.germanjournalsportsmedicine.com/archiv/archiv-2019/issue-10/current-knowledge-and-new-challenges-in-exercise-immunology/
  4. https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131/
  5. https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4425/10/5/380
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0949328X1930211X
  7. https://www.stern.de/gesundheit/sportwissenschaftler-verraet–so-viel-sport-brauchen-wir–um-gesund-zu-bleiben-8350904.html
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21311349/
  9. https://www.germanjournalsportsmedicine.com/archive/archive-2016/issue-3/einfluss-von-proteinen-auf-die-muskulaere-regeneration-nach-sportlicher-aktivitaet/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10368336/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8897864/
Jennifer Ann Steinort

Autorin Jennifer Ann Steinort

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