Performance and altitude: Ways that nutrition can help


High altitudes are a challenge for human physiology and for sports enthusiasts. Several reasons lead to deterioration in performance at high altitudes. Hypoxia owing to high altitude causes a breakdown of homeostasis with imbalance in several physiological systems, including the immune system. The reduction in mucosal immunity and inflammation and the predominance of the humoral immune response causes a condition of immunosuppressionand an increased likelihood of infection. In addition, it is known that worsening of the immune response is associated with reduced performance. On the other hand, immunonutrition plays an important role in modulating the effects of physical exercise on the immune system. However, to our knowledge, few studies have evaluated the effect of nutrition on the immune system after exercise in hypoxia. Although the association between exercise and hypoxia has been shown to be more severe for the body owing to the sum of stressful agents, supplementation with carbohydrates and glutamine seems to play a relevant role in mitigating immunosuppressive effects. These findings, although limited by the fact that they are the result of very few studies, shed light on a relevant theme for sports physiology and nutrition and suggest that both supplements may be useful for athletes, visitors, and workers in high-altitude regions. The aim of this review was to discuss the effects of high-altitude hypoxia on the human body from the point of view of exercise immunology because it is known that transient immunosuppression after strenuous exercise and competition should be followed by reduction in training overload and worse performance 

Autor / Fonte:Aline V Caris, Ronaldo Vagner Thomatieli Santos Nutrition 2018 October 7, 60: 35-40