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An Athlete's Guide to Immune Health Without Sacrificing Fitness Goals

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An Athlete's Guide to Immune Health Without Sacrificing Fitness Goals

Many athletes are well into training for fall races such as the Dallas Marathon, which is just three short months away. While moderate amounts of running can improve your resistance to getting sick when compared to a sedentary person, when you push your mileage and intensity to higher levels, you become more susceptible to illness.

Athletes lose essential nutrients through sweat and because of increased oxygen consumption they are also more likely to suffer from oxidative stress. When we exercise we use more oxygen than when we are at rest. While that additional oxygen helps deliver fuel to the muscles and lungs, it also produces free radicals. Free radicals can lead to a compromised immune system.

This may explain why so many runners, cyclists and triathletes train for months then just days before their big race they get sick. Dr. David Neiman, director of the Human Performance Lab at Appalachian State in North Carolina, conducted a study of more than 2300 runners at a Los Angeles marathon and found that about 13 percent got sick right before the race or in the few weeks after the event.

That is where antioxidants can help counter the effect of free radicals. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a good source of many antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E. A multivitamin and mineral supplement can help fill in the gap for the added needs of athletes.

Cooper Complete Elite Athlete multivitamin and mineral supplement is formulated specifically to combat the oxidative stress and damage to the body that strenuous aerobic exercise can produce. Designed for anyone who trains at 80 percent of their maximum heart rate (defined as defined by 205-1/2 age x .8) at least 5 hours per week, the dosage is divided between four tablets twice per day to maintain sufficient levels of the water soluble antioxidants needed to fight off free radicals.

Cooper Complete Elite Athlete is higher in the aforementioned antioxidants; vitamins C and E, and selenium than Cooper Complete Original Iron Free formulation.

The higher levels are:

  • 2000 mg of Vitamin C (rather than 500 mg)
  • 800 mg of Vitamin E (rather than 200 IU)
  • 200 mcg Selenium (rather than 100 mcg)

Cooper Complete Elite Athlete also contains 18 mg iron. Men and post-menopausal women don’t typically need supplemental iron, but the research shows that Elite Athletes do need this extra iron.

In addition to the Elite formulation, we recommend taking a minimum of 1000 mg per day of omega 3 fatty acids (combined total of EPA and DHA), as studies have shown that it is a great inflammation fighter. Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 contains 1200 mg EPA and DHA combined derived from deep ocean fish.

For more information on Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplements, visit

Article provided by Cathy Sides, Director of Customer Relations, Cooper Concepts Inc.