A Guide to Different Intensities of Exercise, Vaccination, and Sports Nutrition in the Course of Preparing Elite Athletes for the Management of Upper Respiratory Infections during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Narrative Review

Hamid Agha-Alinejad, Amir Hossein Ahmadi Hekmatikar, Ruheea Taskin Ruhee, Mahdieh Molanouri Shamsi, Masoud Rahmati, Kayvan Khoramipour*, Katsuhiko Suzuki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Elite athletes use high-intensity training to maintain their fitness level. However, intense training can harm the immune system, making athletes suspectable to COVID-19 and negatively affecting their performance. In addition, the diet of athletes should be appreciated more as it is an-other influencer of the immune system, especially during the COVID 19 pandemic. The other important issue elite athletes face currently is vaccination and its possible intervention with their training. The present study attempts to discuss the impact of different training intensities, nutritional strategies, and vaccination on the immune system function in elite athletes. To this end, Scopus, ISC, PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases were searched from 1988 to 2021 using the related keywords. The results of our review showed that although high-intensity exercise can suppress the immune system, elite athletes should not stop training in the time of infection but use low-and moderate-intensity training. Moderate-intensity exercise can improve immune function and maintain physical fitness. In addition, it is also better for athletes not to undertake high-intensity training at the time of vaccination, but instead perform moderate to low-intensity training. Fur-thermore, nutritional strategies can be employed to improve immune function during high-intensity training periods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1888
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 1

Keywords

  • Athlete’s immune system
  • COVID-19
  • Performance
  • Training intensity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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