The Ingredients That Can Help Boost Your Health (and Your Workouts) This Winter

There's nothing more annoying than gearing up for a workout only to feel a cold coming on. Who wants to be the one on the treadmill sneezing every other stride — or the person next to someone sneezing? (The answer is no one.)

Credit: Nuun

Rather than popping 1,000 vitamin C tablets the moment you feel a slight tickle, try taking a proactive approach. Nuun Immunity packs ingredients like turmeric, ginger and elderberry to help boost your immune system as part of your regular routine, especially as we head into peak cold season.

"[The ingredients] work by supporting your immune system via multiple routes and by providing immune-boosting antioxidants via vitamins, minerals, and plant-based nutrients, as well as a diverse range of anti-inflammatories," says Vishal Patel, director of product development at Nuun. "We wanted to have a 'cocktail' of nutrients to help support your immune system."

As winter rolls in, taking a deeper look at these ingredients can help prepare you for the worst so you can continue focusing on the more important stuff — like getting your sweat on.

Learn more about the ingredients you should look for to help boost your immune health below.

Credit: Nuun

Turmeric

A medicinal herb known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, turmeric is touted as a potential aid for sore muscles and overall recovery.

"Studies have shown that the active compounds in turmeric may help control inflammatory responses during period of immune system suppression," says Patel, of a January 2007 study published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology. The verdict: You might want to try your favorite soup seasoner for your stuffy nose, too.

Plus, turmeric can help mitigate the risk of autoimmunity issues, according to Ellen Vora, MD. "By modulating NF kappaB (a protein complex that controls cell recovery) activity, turmeric [helps] calibrate your immune system," she says. "It attacks pathogens but doesn't go rogue and start attacking your own tissue."

Ginger

According to Patel, ginger is an all-natural anti-inflammatory that may help to alleviate symptoms that occur when your immune system is suppressed (like a sore throat or full-body aches).

In case that weren't enough for you to start taking ginger shots every morning, in eastern traditions like Chinese medicine and Ayurveda there is an appreciation for certain foods and spices having a warming quality on the body. This can help prevent colds and other issues in the winter months, Vora says.

Elderberry

Nope, it's not just for amping up your nightly tea. "Elderberry helps keep your antioxidant pool fed — having antioxidants free flowing will help the body better respond to a cold or flu during the early warning signs," Patel says. Translation: Elderberry may help your body respond to incoming viruses that could be stressing out your immune system (and therefore your workout game).

On top of its surplus of antioxidants, Vora says elderberry packs even more immunity-promoting powers. "It's my go-to medicine when I feel an infection coming on," she adds. "Elderberry can kill off infectious agents without disrupting your gut flora or killing off beneficial bacteria." Time to start giving your nightly tea the kudos it deserves.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is overall quite common, according to Patel. Lower vitamin D levels are attributed to lack of sun exposure (especially in cold, dry areas), Vora says, which allow germs to travel more broadly and make people more susceptible to these infection agents.

If winter means you're cooped up indoors at the gym rather than enjoying your usual outdoor workout in the sunshine, that's just one more reason you might want to load up.

Electrolytes

A huge differentiator in Nuun Immunity from other immune-boosting supplements is that it focuses on hydration to help ensure your body is actually absorbing all the nutrients it needs.

"Electrolytes keep us hydrated and able to maintain proper blood pressure, which takes the strain off our body," Vora says. Plus, consuming more liquids (and electrolytes) help increase blood circulation, guiding nutrients to where they need to be in order to defend your immune system, according to Patel.

Yes, this is probably the only cocktail that'll actually have you up and in the gym first thing in the morning.

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