T Nation

Cold/Flu Season Coming


So cold and flu season has already arrived for me. I'm tapering off my first cold of the year already and I'm wondering how best to avoid getting sick in the first place or reduce the duration of a cold should I get one. Here's the obvious:

  • Sleep
  • Hydrate
  • Sleep
  • Continue to workout (not insane killer workouts but don't sit on your ass)
  • Sleep

Here's stuff that I've found works well for me, provided I start it early and aggressively as soon as I start to feel the slightest tickle.

  • Zicam (I prefer the nasal swabs)
  • Airborne (Grapefruit flavor!)
  • Echinacea
  • Extra vitamin C
  • Warm salt water gargle

What works for you folks?

Any supplements you find are good for avoiding colds in the first place?

Any supplements that you would back off on/halt when you're sick? (Stimulants?)

How about basic nutrition? I try to get some OJ and pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup or as I call it "Vietnamese penicillin") but are there certain macro-nutrients that help or hurt? I usually eat fairly low carb (lot's of veggies, little bit of fruit first thing) except immediately before/after a workout. Good time to ditch this for 48 hours to get over something?


A while ago I read a post about this guy who started taking way over the RDA of Vitamin D and had not been sick since. I decided to give it a try and have not been sick since. I started in December 2008 and have not had a cold since. My current vitamin/mineral intake is as follows.

Every morning
Multi, C 1,000, D 8,000 IU, E 400 IU, Calcium 200, Glucosamine/MSM, Superfood 1 scoop, Circumin 500, Rez-V 200

Every night
Multi, Glucosamine/MSM, Circumin 500

Before bed



Wear a condom.


I hear the Zicam nasal spray was linked to some people losing their sense of smell.

This year I plan on trying the following outside of my normal.

Superfood daily and Vit. D 6,000 IU’s

just started Vit. D a few months ago, will see how I do this year


I had been taking 4,000 IU (2K in the AM, 2K PM) but I was taking a week off while I did my deload week in 5/3/1. Middle of that week, bam, got a cold. Coincidence, maybe yes, maybe no, but from now on I’ll just do it consistently.

I also remembered a supplement that I wanted to ask about: glutamine. I’ve been reading here long enough to know that a bunch of people don’t recommend it for routine use but what about stopping or shortening a cold. There’s a study that showed it reduced colds in runners after marathons. Now does it help reduce the impact of the stressor (running a marathon) or does it really improve the immune system’s ability to fight off a cold.


i heard bad things about zicam also. the fda ordered a recall in june 09 because
of people losing their sence of smell. I have read a lot of good things about vit. “d”, and
intend to give that a try this fall/winter



I used to take glutamine daily and managed to stay cold-free for two years when I would normally get 2-3 per. It’s cheap so you may want to consider it. But I would just take it daily to try to avoid getting sick altogether.

Also, x3 on the Vit D. Started 6k iu in spring and will see how I do this year. Also cheap and just about everyone is deficient.