I think this week has to be one of those weeks where it feels like everyone is getting sick. For the past four days, my chest felt like it had been hit by a sledgehammer and my nose was running faster than an Olympic sprinter.
I got a lot of messages during my snap Q+A yesterday (briank019) saying they were very feeling very similar. Thankfully, I’m feeling 100% again today so I’ll share what I did over the last few days to get myself back on track and hopefully it will have you mended by the end of the week:
1)Take a gym break for a few days:
My general rule is neck and above, I train, neck or below, I don’t train. My chest was aching the last few days so I took a break from the gym. I did some football training with my club on Saturday (all aerobic) and my Facebook live workout yesterday (again mostly aerobic) and took a break from the gym for the four days before that.
If you are run down, the extra stress from the gym can make you feel even worse. Resistance and weight training in particular can slow down your recovery. If you are trying to fight a cold or flu and your body is trying to repair the fibers you have torn in your workout, it’s going to dramatically reduce the ability of your immune system to fight your sickness.
A lot of people worry that they will set themselves back if they take a break for a few days, but put it this way- you don’t get lean, toned or jacked in four or five days, then you are not going to add too much body fat or lose all your muscle in the same time period. Although, depleted glycogen stores from not eating enough or water retention from being sick might make you feel like you have, you will actually be back to normal after one or two training sessions.
2) Cut coffee and add green tea:
Caffeine is an incredible central nervous system stimulant, its one of the reason why its such a great performance enhancer but when your immune system is trying to repair itself, the last thing you want is something that sends your body into a state of ‘fight or flight’.
I must admit that I’ve regularly overdosed on coffee whilst being sick in order to power through the day but I’ve always came out worse on the other side.
Coffee 1 Brian 0
Even when I start to feel the onset of a cold or flu, I try and reduce back my caffeine intake and substitute green tea for it. There’s a little bit of caffeine in green tea but not near the amount of normal coffee. Personally, I find hot drinks great when I’m not feeling too well, so that’s an added bonus.
3: Add in Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Glutamine:
If you listened to my podcast episode on what to do when you get sick, these were the three supplements that I recommend more than any other. There are other supplements like garlic capsules, zinc and flu blends that work great too but these are always my ‘go to’.
Vitamin C and D are incredible at boosting your immune function, which can speed up your recovery. One of the main functions of glutamine is to support your immune system; it’s very easily depleted in athletes, gym goers or anyone who is physically active, so I always hedge my bets by increasing it when I’m feeling run down.
If you have been feeling under the weather the last few days, hopefully this will help you.