Staying healthy takes a multi-pronged approach. It starts with regular exercise, a nutritious diet, adequate sleep, and stress management. Supplements can also help ensure you and your immune system are running at 100 percent when the day comes that you need them to be resilient against the world at large. Never has that been more clear than right now, when sickness is on everyone's mind.
What many immune formulas have in common is their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals to protect cells from damage. In other words, they keep cells healthy so your organs and body systems, including your immune system, can keep working correctly.
Here's the good news: You don't need to buy fancy or expensive supplements to harness antioxidant power. The best supplements for your immune system are actually pretty basic.
Here's our guide for cold and flu season:
1. Bodybuilding.com Signature Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known and most popular antioxidants, and for good reason. This simple, affordable supplement delivers a big antioxidant hit to protect cells from free radical damage, helping to support a healthy immune system.*
Vitamin C is special because it also helps your body produce other things it needs, like collagen, L-carnitine, vitamin E, and neurotransmitters. Plus, it helps you absorb iron from veggies, so definitely take it with meals.*
2. Alpha Lion Superhuman Greens
Even if you start every morning with a kale smoothie that you could prop up a spoon in, it can be tough to get all the veggies and fruits you need. Consider a well-formulated greens powder your vegetable insurance. It gives you more kinds of superfoods than you'd ever eat on the regular, in one easy-to-drink beverage that doesn't taste like your lawn. (Granted, a greens supplement isn't a replacement for actually eating vegetables, since it doesn't have the fiber you get from veggies in their natural state. The supplement's main job is to provide extra nutrients.)
In Alpha Lion's Superhuman Greens, you get fruits and veggies as well as sprouts, wheat grass, sea vegetables, spirulina—all kinds of stuff that's super good for you but not normally in your grocery cart. And most super of all, it tastes great. Choose from Anabolic Apple and Manchild Mango.
3. NOW Zinc
Zinc is less famous than vitamin C, but it also provides powerful immune system support, making it another great addition to your supplement regimen.
Zinc plays a lot of roles in the body. It helps your skeletal, neurological, and endocrine systems work correctly, and helps with protein and carbohydrate metabolism, among many other jobs.*
It's also a key component of ZMA, which you may already take for sleep and recovery. (If you do take ZMA, there's no need to double up with an additional zinc supplement.) And as an added perk, since zinc defends against oxidation, it can be helpful for healthy aging.*
4. RSP Nutrition BioVite Multivitamin
A good multivitamin is one supplement everybody should be taking, not just during cold and flu season, but to protect against nutritional deficiencies year-round. It's especially important if you work out a lot, since between the extra wear and tear on your body and losing minerals through sweat, you just need more of everything.
We love this multi formula because it contains premium ingredients like methylcobalamin and Quatrefolic, forms of vitamin B12 and folic acid, respectively, that are easier for the body to absorb than other forms. It also has a blend of natural food-based ingredients to give you even more micronutrients.
BioVite includes full, optimal amounts of each active ingredient. You have to take three of these bad boys a day, but you'll know you're getting a potent dose.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.