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Quercetin may help boost your immune function during periods of intense execise
There’s evidence this flavonoid could help you fight off cold viruses
While I’m not a fan of over-supplementation, there are a few supplements I take regularly. Recently I’ve added quercetin to my daily intake of vitamin D and essential fatty acids (EFAs).
This phytonutrient is classified as a flavonoid and found in many fruits and vegetables especially berries, apples, pears, peppers and green leafy vegetables.
Studies have shown that it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive and anti-infectious properties among other healthy promoting benefits.
Some sports supplement companies claim it can also help boost athletic performance but the research literature doesn’t back up those claims.
However, one study done with cyclists showed that quercetin reduced the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections during a two-week recovery period after three days of intense workouts.
The researchers think that quercetin has a direct antipathogenic effect on cold viruses, meaning it suppresses their ability to make you sick.
It also seems to have a synergistic effect if taken with other phytonutrients such as other flavonoids or EGCG.
The International Society of Exercise and Immunology takes the position that there is mounting evidence for the immune boosting effects of flavonoids such as quercetin for exercise-stressed athletes.
If these bright minds are convinced then so am I.
There don’t seem to be any dangers of taking quercetin in the appropriate dose and it could help me avoid colds this winter as I ramp up my training in preparation for next year. (As a precaution you should check with your doctor before taking any new supplement especially if you’re taking medication.)
The most common dosage is 1,000 mg per day usually in the form of two 500 mg pills. I take one pill with breakfast and one with either lunch or dinner. I’ll often take the pill at lunch with a cup of green tea.
This is in addition to any quercetin I get from my diet. Apples and pears are two of my favourite fruits and I regularly eat peppers along with some leafy greens.
If you exercise intensely on a regular basis you may want to add some supplemental quercetin to your diet. It appears to be safe, it’s not expensive and it just may help keep you healthy this winter.