What’s your take on some of these immune system supplements that are popping up online? Is there any merit to them?? Will any of them help in not getting or spreading COVID-19?
Obviously, it depends on the product in question but yes I’ve seen the ads (and the formulas).
They range from the mundane to the absurd, but some general commentary can be made about them.
First, I think like most supplements themselves – it’s majoring in the minors.
Using product Immune X will do little for you if your sleep isn’t in order, and for most people – it isn’t.
If you think this point is trivial – think again.
During, and only during sleep does your body make cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, effectively creating an immune response.
Cytokines are both produced and released during sleep, causing a double whammy if you skimp on shut-eye.
No sleep, no cytokines. No cytokines equals compromised immunity.
How important is it? Check this out – Chronic sleep loss even makes the flu vaccine less effective by reducing your body’s ability to respond.
So even when the COVID vaccine gets here, its going to need sleep to work.
Toward that end, I think we all could revisit something that has been brought up many times before – ritual.
In that context, we were talking about pre-workout rituals.
My old one was to take a shower, get my lifting outfit on (I had an upper body and lower body one, believe it or not), maybe a pre-workout and then add music either in the form of CD’s playing on my way to the gym or less frequently, earbuds during training.
I never realized how that ritual mentally prepared me for training.
Sleep is no different. For most people, bedtime really has no time – that’s mistake #1. Bedtime needs to be consistent, whether your fall asleep or not (let’s say, 9PM)
Less Distractions, More Concentration
Next mistake: Having wifi, cellphones, TV or other e-gadgets in the same room.
Studies show that e-anything disrupts brainwaves, the very same ones you need to sleep.
Don’t want to miss your favorite show? Fine, tape it. There’s nothing on past 9 o’clock that’s going to be worth me missing my target lifts tomorrow. That’s how I think of it, anyway. I’d encourage you to do the same.
Next, practice some form of focus or concentration exercise.
Staring intently at the flame of a lit candle in a dark room is a great starting point.
There is something about fire as a source of light in the midst of darkness that’s primal IMO.
It’s intense, or it can be if you develop your powers of focus and concentration on it.
This may be controversial, but praying IMO quiets the mind. Pray for forgiveness, pray for your kids or pray to be thankful for all your blessings. But pray often and regularly, and you’ll experience better sleep IMO.
GABA, Melatonin and ZMA can all be useful adjuncts.
Too many people overlook GABA IMO. It’s simple, it’s cheap and it works as an inhibitory neurotransmitter to quite the mind.
In time, your new sleep ritual will reap benefits no amount of supplementation only can touch.
Finally, single items (like vitamins C, D etc.) are much preferred to these combo formulas.
If you’re going to spend money on only one of them, I’d tell you high dose C and get your D from the sun. Those would be the two most critical IMO.