T Nation

staying healthy

I wanted to know if anyone out there in the world of strength training knows anything about fighting off colds and keeping healthy so you don’t get sick? What should I take to keep healthy and cold free for as long as possible?
Help from anyone that knows more than me is always appreciated.
Thanks, Barron

One thing you have to realize is that your gut is 60% of your immune system. So if you have a healthy gut, then you have a pretty strong immune system.

So in order to have a healthy gut, you need to reduce sugar intake and carbs in general, and you need to make sure to eat nutrient dense foods along with lots of probiotics. Don’t eat processed foods or anything like that.

That’s a good step. Eat natural foods only, exercise (duh), get fresh air, drink plenty of clean water (not tap water), and eat lots of good veggies!

hope this helps

In addition to morg’s fabulous advice – you hit a home run there, morg! – I’d recommend adding arabinogalactins and plant sterols/sterolins. Solaray makes a product called Immune AG. ModuCare is what I would recommend for the sterols/sterolins.

And repeating (and adding to) morg’s excellent advice on the probiotics, I like Bio-K+. It’s so potent that if you start off at more than the recommended dosage, you’ll likely get sick/head-achey/nauseous from bad- bacteria die-off.

Do a search on the 'Net for immunity and sterols/sterolin or arabinogalactins.

This might sound obvious, but I think a big part of avoiding colds and stuff just comes down to washing your hands, not rubbing your eyes/face when out in public, not sharing drinks with sick people, and other habits like that.

I swear I’ve seen guys at the gym picking their nose between sets – then you wonder how disease gets spread.

Try black elderberry extract. I swear by it. It’s available under the name Sambucol at health food stores.

I’d also try coconut oil, but I don’t have enough experience with it yet to know if it’s making a difference.

The other suggestions sound interesting. I’m going to do some research on them.

I have not been sick for over 2 yrs while everyone around me, including my wife has been sick, calling off from work, etc. I follow all of Morgs advice AND take Super Nutrition Men’s Formula Multi-vitamins (recomended by Waterbury), and have never felt better. I just do not get sick, period. If I “feel” something coming on I just double my vitamin doseage, and BOOM!, I’m feel great!

Hey! I like picking my nose asshole! As for minor cold cures I’ve found Echinacea and Black Elderberry Extract especially to be bomb trad. remedies.

What’s always worked well for me is taking the “standard” vitamins/herbs. Non-cold season, I am unfortunately pretty lax with my twice-a-day vitamins, but come cold season I get religious about it. Three times daily, I take my multi-vit (150% rec. dose) and twice daily I take 1g Vit C, 50mg zinc, and 375mg echinacea/goldenseal root. I rarely get colds (perhaps once, for 2 days, annually) and can’t remember the last flu I had.

I’m sure TT’s advice is spot on, as usual, but so is morg’s and John K’s. Nothing like plain old common sense and Costco vitamins/herbs to stave off a lot of “what goes around”.

U have received some great advice in the above post. I would just like to add a few more options that you can experiment with, and have worked great for me and others I am around.

  1. Supplement with 1-2grams of Vit.C daily. Take this in several doses throughout the day, like 250-500mg 4 times a day with meals.

  2. The second thing that I have found to work might sound a little far fetched, but have found it works great. Stop taking meds. all the time. In todays society ppl start to get any little symptom and they go pop a pill, or some type of sauce to stop it. For anything from a simple head ache, stuffed up nose, any little pain. I suggest that you dont take meds. unless it is something that you just cant live with. It is amazing what your body can take care of on its own if you just give it a chance, as a plus the more chances you give it the better it gets at preventing and healing itself.

Just take a look at the ppl around you. From my experience, the ppl that take the most meds. are also the ones that are prone to be sick more often.

My 2cc, hope it helped.


I think phill’s second point is excellent.

You get a fever and all that for a reason! it’s your body’s way to get rid of the illness…why would you suppress that with drugs??

Great advice from everyone on the board!

Here is my regime some of which I do daily regardless of how I feel. Some I only do when I feel I might be getting sick:

  1. 3000 Milligrams of Vit. C daily. In addition to Life Extension Multi Vitamin, (or Twin Lab).

  2. Zinc lozenges by “Cold Eze”. 5 per day. (I have found these to be incredible!).

  3. A great natural product called “Cold & Flu Defense”, by “Garden of Life”. The ingredients are all natural immune boosters. To numerous to mention here.

  4. I also take cold showers almost daily. The theory is that while you are experiencing the cold outwardly, inwardly your body is heating up to fight the cold. Largly anecdotal but it has seemed to work very well for me.

  5. I always eat a large amount of fruits and raw vegetables.

  6. Stay away from sugar! This, I believe, is not good for the immune system. I feel this is far worse than fat, or almost any other substance you can put in your body on a daily basis.

  7. Never train while your body is trying to fight any sort of infection. You want your body to spend its time fighting the infection and not recouping from a workout. Rest!

There you have it-Good Luck!

Cold Eeze, or whatever it’s called, is a godsend. Go out and buy some today, and use as directed.

That said, there was a period in my junior year of college where I ate like shit, didn’t exercise at all, and spent a lot of time in my apartment with five other guys. Four of them were sick most of the time, but my roommate and I weren’t. The only difference? He and I got 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and the four other guys were looking at 4-5. I’ve been sleeping like that ever since, and it’s been a while since I’ve had a cold.

Sleep is important. Don’t skip it.

All very good advice. One other trick to try is taking some baking soda in warm water. Tastes like shit, but my experience (and the experience of a lot of others as well on this board) has been that it’s very effective in getting rid of anything that’s virus-based (colds in particular).

It’s been about two years now since I had a cold. if you’re interested in more anecdotal evidence, do a search for "Cure for the common cold?’, which is a thread that I started a while back. Both pros and cons on there.

I rarely get sick, but even more so the past couple of years since following JB’s massive eating. I’m not sure if it’s the fish oil, the Udo’s, or simply more food. If I do feel a cold coming on I start taking Zimac, a zinc nasal spray available in the cold remedy section. It’s like the lozenges, but is directed at the infection site.

Thanks to everyone for great tips! One other point is to step up all your preventative measures when you travel. Your immune system gets used to germs encountered in your daily life, and knows how to fight them, but unknown germs might make some headway in making you miserable before your immune system is done killing them. The only flu I got in recent years resulted from a cross-country flight. I am now vigilant about John K’s suggestion of washing hands, and also I am careful not to touch my face anywhere while traveling. Flu and travel season are coming up!

Fuck that… Drink gallons of beer and make sure you only eat highly-processed foods like rice cakes and fruit loops. If you can help it, make sure you find the brand of milk that has the highest hormone content before consuming. This is especially important if you are raising young women and want to make sure they are nice and tall and are endowed with F-cup breasts.

Oh, and don’t bother taking more than 500g of Vit. C at a time by the way.

Dr. D-Lo…

Are you spying on me or something?

Dan “You ever get that feeling… that someone’s watching you?” McVicker

By the way, my F-Cup man-titties are coming along nicely, Doc. The hormones really made the difference!!!

Dan “Just Thought You’d Like to Know” McVicker

Do not leave your house and let no one in who has been exposed to the outside world!