Home / Learn! / Why do athletes get sick so often?
Why do athletes get sick so often?

Why do athletes get sick so often?

The harder and more often you train, the bigger the strain on your immune system. A compromised immune system makes you more susceptible to common bugs being passed around.

Upper respiratory illness accounts for 35-65% non-injury-related presentation to a sports medicine clinic. In athletes, upper respiratory symptoms (URS) are most often related to common respiratory viruses, viral reactivation, allergic responses to aeroallergens and exercise-related trauma to the integrity of lung membranes.

Recurrent and/or persistent respiratory illness negatively impacts the health and performance of athletes and preliminary studies show a pro-inflammatory response and a dysregulated anti-inflammatory cytokine (chemical) response to intense exercise as a possible mechanism of respiratory inflammation.

Dietary supplementation with probiotics and selected antioxidants can reduce the incidence or severity of URS in some athletes.