Exercise induced spasms of the airways is easily treated with a variety of short acting and long acting medications meant to open airways. If you are interested in an adjunct therapy you may be interested in what role diet can play in reducing symptoms. This article will review common essential nutrients and their relationship to exercise induced asthma.
Vitamin C and vitamin E are both vitamins that are also powerful anti-oxidants. Theoretically, they should be beneficial to calm the oxidative stress that occurs as a result of exercise-induced asthma. In multiple studies, researchers found that supplementing with vitamin C and vitamin E yielded inconclusive results that could not be repeated. (1) It is still important to eat a diet rich in foods containing vitamin C and E for good overall health.
Sodium is a nutrient necessary to health. In Multiple studies it was seen that reducing the amount of sodium in a persons’ diet helped to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with exercise induced asthma. Although these results are interesting the data does not support recommending low sodium diets as a clinical treatment, rather just consider a low-sodium diet for overall good health. (2)(3)
As you can see these are all nutrients essential to good overall health, including them in your diet in the appropriate amount have wide reaching health benefits. Eating a diet with about 2,300 milligrams of sodium is wise for overall good health and choosing to include foods in your diet that contain vitamin C and vitamin E these can do no harm. Just remember these dietary changes are not meant to replace the proven effectiveness of the pharmacological treatments that are necessary to keep airways open.
- Wilkinson M, Hart A, Milan SJ, Sugumar K. Vitamins C and E for asthma and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD010749. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010749.pub2.
- MICKLEBOROUGH, T. D. and FOGARTY, A. (2006), Dietary sodium intake and asthma: an epidemiological and clinical review. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 60: 1616–1624. doi:10.1111/j.1742-1241.2006.01103.x
- Timothy D. Mickleborough and Robert W. Gotshall. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. September 2004, 10(4): 633-642. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2004.10.633