Meal Plans

Meal Plan: Boost Your Immune System

Give your immune system a boost with this diet designed to keep you healthy through cold season.


Hey, Muscle & Fitness: Is it possible to boost my immune system through my diet? If so, what should I be eating to make sure I stay healthy?

—Cameron G., San Jose, CA

It’s a common misconception that you can load up on vitamins A and C to boost your immune system when you’re sick, or pack in the zinc and selenium to kick a cold. Preventing defciencies in these nutrients is important for maintaining immune health, but mega-dosing them doesn’t make your immune system function any better. however, little tweaks to your diet can fortify your immune system, while at the same time supporting your training to build a better body.

Carb Up

Taking in carbs while you’re training helps counter immune dysfunction and immune inflammatory responses due to the stress hormones released during hard exercise. By keeping your muscles fueled with carbs during a workout, you can mitigate the effects of training on your immune system and keep yourself in top shape longer. And don’t worry about their effect on your physique— intra-workout carbs won’t hinder fat loss.

Supplement with Quercetin

This antioxidant found in berries, onions, and green tea can help reduce illness during heavy training while also stimulating the creation of new mitochondria—your cellular powerhouses. Research shows that 1,000mg per day of quercetin (divided throughout the day) is the ideal dosage for reducing the detrimental effects heavy intense training has on immune function.

Eat It Alive!

Probiotic supplements, dairy with live cultures, and fermented foods like sauerkraut, dill carrots, kimchee, and kombucha contain probiotics that help populate your digestive tract with good bacteria that can enhance the health of your gut and help your immune system work better—which may lead to fewer colds.