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Natural Allergy Relief for Athletes

What is Hay Fever?

Spring is finally here, and with it comes the epic weather, flowers and trees in bloom. Unfortunately for some people this time of year also brings on seasonal allergies. If you're one of those unlucky peeps that are currently suffering from allergies, don't worry we've got some top tips to help you get relief.

Hay fever aka seasonal allergic rhinitis is caused by an allergic reaction to allergens. These allergens trigger the release of histamines in the body, which leads to annoying symptoms like a runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing. Common allergens include rank things like dust mites, pet hair, mould, and yep, POLLEN!

The experts tell us allergic diseases like hay fever are increasing worldwide, but the exact reasons aren't known. This makes sense though when we look at the data. According to research, one in four people in the UK suffer from hay fever, with symptoms peaking in late May and early June. In the US, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that more than 25 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. While it's impossible to avoid allergens altogether, there are some things you can do to help alleviate your symptoms.

 

 

Why Athletes Should Address Their Allergies

Let's start with a quick definition of an athlete. When we use the term athlete, we mean anyone engaging in sport. Professional, amateur, recreational, or even fitness workouts, whatever category you fit into, we're speaking to you!

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk about why athletes should address their allergies. The first and most obvious reason is that you want to perform at your best. During training and competition, your body will be under stress, so you want to make sure it's in the best shape possible. Allergies will only add to that stress and could hold you back from reaching your goals or even just landing that treflip or tailwhip.

Another reason? Increased allergy symptoms can lead to a decline in physical and mental performance. You may experience headaches, fatigue, mood swings, and poor sleep due to congestion or a drippy nose. This means you won't be at your best mentally or physically and that's something no athlete wants.

Lastly, you're leaving yourself prone to injury. How will you land that next feeble grind if you can't see clearly through your watery eyes? In all seriousness though, hay fever can lead to inflammation and swelling in the sinuses. This can put pressure on the delicate bones in your face and increase your risk of suffering a fracture. No thanks.

So, what can you do to get relief from your seasonal allergies? Let's take a look.

  

Common Side Effects of Medication That Treat Allergy Symptoms

There are several types of medication available to help treat hay fever. These include antihistamines, decongestants, and eye drops. Spoiler alert, here comes a disclaimer. Each type of medication comes with its own set of possible side effects, so it's important to speak to your doc before starting any new medication.

Antihistamines

Most commonly used for hay fever and allergies, these medications work by blocking the effects of histamines. Many antihistamines are available as over-the-counter tablets that you can take orally to prevent allergy symptoms. However, it's important to note that some antihistamines may cause drowsiness, which most sporty peeps want to avoid.

Decongestants

If you're suffering from clogged sinuses, a decongestant can help clear up the blockage and improve breathing. Most decongestants are available as nasal sprays or tablets that you take orally. However, be careful when using decongestants as they can raise your blood pressure and heart rate, which isn't ideal for athletes.

Eye Drops

If your hay fever (or zoot) is causing itchy, watery eyes, eye drops can help. These are available over the counter and work by reducing inflammation. Yep you guessed it, they also can cause side effects like stinging or burning upon application and temporary blurred vision.

 

 

Natural Remedies for Hay Fever Relief

If you'd rather skip the side effects and take a more natural route, there are some great options available to help treat your seasonal allergies.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This humble kitchen staple contains enzymes that can break down mucus and fight bacteria in the body. It's also been shown to improve circulation and reduce inflammation. Mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink before meals or whenever you start to feel the effects of your allergies. Simple AF. You may also find capsules available from health food stores.

Eucalyptus Oil

This steam inhalation is a great way to alleviate allergy symptoms and clear up congestion while reducing inflammation. Studies also show that eucalyptus oil extract can activate the body's natural immune response to help overall health. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to steaming water, breathe deeply through your nose, and hold for 5-10 minutes. Tread with caution though, as it may trigger allergies in some people and should never be used around pets.

Butterbur

This is a plant that's been used for centuries to treat various ailments, including allergies. Studies have shown that it's an effective herbal treatment for hay fever and works as a common antihistamine medication. Butterbur extract can be taken in capsule form or as tea. It works by inhibiting the production of histamines, which helps to reduce allergy symptoms.

CBD

Last but not least, CBD oil is an all-natural remedy becoming increasingly popular for treating allergies. One promising study showed excellent results in reducing symptoms associated with allergic asthma, which hay fever can also trigger. CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant. It works by interacting with the body's endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation, which can help to alleviate hay fever symptoms. You can take CBD oil orally, ingest it in capsule form or even as a delicious gummy. Yep, that was the part where we pitched you on our wicked mendy products. Check ‘em out, you won’t regret it. 

 

 

No Need to Suffer

As an athlete, dealing with seasonal allergies can be a real pain in the ass. Whether it's sneezing, coughing, or watery eyes and a runny nose, the symptoms of hay fever can make it difficult to focus on your workouts and compete at your best. Luckily, there are a variety of natural remedies available to help treat these problems without the same side effects commonly experienced with OTC medications. Learn to support your immune system with the proper diet and supplements, and consider trying CBD oil and other all-natural products for allergy relief.

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