Preventing Colds and the Flu

Now that the season transition is in full swing, cold and flu season is upon us. At least here in the northern hemisphere, the days are short and it’s harder to train given the limited daylight and uncooperative weather. The last thing we need is to get sick to further disrupt our workout schedule.

I came across this article from RealAge.com and found the advice to be pretty good common sense. You can read the details for yourself, but basically, the gist from a nutrition standpoint is:

  • Vitamin C supplementation might be helpful for athletes who work out outdoors
  • Echinecea won’t help prevent colds but might help reduce the length of a cold
  • Probiotics are like echinecea in that they won’t prevent but may reduce length of a cold

Other healthy habits mentioned include washing your hands and disinfecting surfaces likely to harbor cold germs, such as doorknobs and faucets.  That extends to your work environment of course, so if you wash your hands and then have to open the door, you may have contaminated your hands again — keep some disinfecting gel at your desk to help with that.

From a cyclists perspective, the other things to consider include making sure you keep up on your fuel intake and don’t let yourself get too drained and become susceptible.  Keep up with your hydration as well, since the air tends to be drier in the winter time.  If you have any other thoughts or tips that work well for you, feel free to post your favorites.