Definitely feel like I’m coming down with something, so it got me thinking about how to avoid getting properly sick. What are everyone’s tips to fight back against colds and viruses, both preventative and when you’re (like me) on the cusp?
I find the best thing for trying to prevent illness is lots of good quality food and a decent diet. I also take a good multivitamin supplement every day.
Unfortunately, I don’t think illness is preventable. I’ve learnt from my mistakes, and I now stop training when ill, and recover much quicker.
Echinaforce is my go to if I feel a cold coming on, it’s a miracle in a bottle for me!
I don’t focus on my weight. I eat well and I eat slightly more than I might during the race season. I’d rather have a kg or two to shift in early March than two or three weeks off the bike.
Only supplement I take is vitamin C and I think there’s a whole load of studies kicking around that would tell me that I’m wasting my time and money even doing this.
Maximising sleep and reducing stress too… I’ve found that when all my recovery is on point i rarely get sick. But when i’m really pushing the training but missing out on sleep and not eating well i get rundown and pick something up pretty easily.
I’ve learned to pay attention to my body and see it coming most of the time. If I’m run down, not sleeping well, resting hr rising, having a hard time getting motivated, etc., I know it’s time to take a break before things go downhill.
I take airborne everyday and if I get a cold use zicam and zinc lonzenges…usually only get one cold a year.
Avoid kids, planes and people.
hand hygiene, avoiding overloading on stress
Helping when sick:
paracetamol, caffeine, rest, realising it is inevitable and not beating yourself up when it happens.
2-4 portions of fruit a day.
2.5-3kg of Salad a week.
4-500g of vegetables an evening.
Wash your hands.
Avoid consuming refined sugar.
Pretty much echoing everyone else here, but getting extra and higher-quality sleep can turn things around really quick in my experience. Also eating real food and avoiding sugar seems to help me out with recovery as well.
Adding to sleep, hand hygiene and stopping to train / avoiding stress:
Drink lots of water. It helps to flush out your body.
Eat well especially after workouts , get straight out of wet clothes and always wash hands regularly. When I started cycling, in the space of my 2nd year I got a viral infection in my chest twice which kept me out for 3 weeks at a time but since I haven’t had any problems.
dont have children
Before you start feeling sick:
Get a flu shot
wash your hands
keep a bottle of hand sanitize on your desk
Try to avoid touching things other people touch when you can (e.g. - do you really need to grab that stair rail?)
Keep your immune system “topped off.” i.e. get more sleep, eat well, etc
Once you start feeling “something coming on”, double down on helping your immune system with rest and diet.
Thanks for the tips so far. FWIW I’ve left work half way through the day and took the train home (commuted in so left the bike at work). Now in bed with ginger lemon tea!
Completely agree with @STP
Zicam is homeopathic so is just an expensive placebo - I assume it’s this stuff. I’ve not seen this in the UK. Multi-vitamins just give you really expensive wee (for example) unless you have a specific deficiency diagnosed by an actual doctor.
Unfortunately there isn’t a magic pill, all the boring advice already mentioned is Sleep as much as possible - don’t set an alarm so your body can sleep as much as it needs to. Eat lots of fruit and veg. There’s probably not much advatage in avoiding people at this point as it sounds like you’ve already caught whatever it is, but avoiding people is probably more restful!
#1. Wash your hands, every time. With soap and warm water. Scrub.
#2. Wash your hands after public transportation, being around children, sick people, etc.
#3. Wash your hands before eating.
#4. Eat more vegetables and fruits.
#5. Get more sleep.
#6. Get a flu shot.
#7. Wash your sheets, duvet covers, and pillow cases once a week.
#8. Change out your towels every 3 days if possible, otherwise wash them once a week.
#9. Vitamin C supplement (studies are conflicted on this one, I consume a lot of Vitamin C/citrus fruits anyway because the flavanoids help with nosebleeds in the winter)
You will get sick, once you are sick:
#1. Stop high intensity training as soon as you feel the sickness coming on
#2. Get extra rest and fluids
#3. Default to rest over coming back to training too soon.
You are better off cutting training off sooner and having 4 days off the bike rather than trying to train into the first part of sickness and then compromising your training for a week or more. Got the flu and didn’t listen to my body and it took me out of commission for two weeks last year which was a huge setback.