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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Birmingham UK
    Posts
    12

    lots of colds - multivitamins anyone

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    This year I have been doing a lot more cycling than last year. I ride about 150 miles a week occasionally doing 200+ and have had 4 cold bugs since january - when normally I get about 1 or 2 a year. Lots of people have noticed I am ill again at work and have been recommending vitamin supplements etc - what does everyone else think or do?
    When I get a bug I take vit c and echinacia. Have a good diet generally and make sure I have carbo drinks and recovery drinks after long rides. Any thoughts would be gratefully recieved as I have a 90 mile hilly cyclosportive in 3 weeks time and am ill again, really messing up my training.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1,253
    Make sure you're eating enough high-nutrient foods like meat, vegetables, and fruits. It's easy to rely on a very carb-heavy diet when you're doing a big training effort, and most carbs are low in vitamins and minerals.

    Also, you might think about visiting your doctor to get your iron levels tested. Heavy exercise can lead to low iron, which definitely reduces immune function.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,632
    I get serial colds when under stress. The one thing that has helped me this year has been zinc. I bought bags of some organic lozenges with zinc and vitamin C in Whole Foods, but somehow they have worked -- "Zand Herbal lozenges". The are cheaper in Amazon, by the box.

    I have read that the evidence on zinc shortening the duration of colds is mixed, and that the evidence on zinc preventing colds is more compelling. Perhaps the lozenges have acted as a placebo or, in the worst case scenario, as expensive candy, but I haven't had a cold this year with the exception of very short one after a series of long international flights in March (took Zicam). An unintended result of having a jar with these lozenges in my office, was an increased number of visitors to get them.

    Best of luck with the cyclosportive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kelowna, BC, Canada
    Posts
    2,737
    I swear by ColdFX. With all the runny noses I come across each day, it's what keeps me healthy. That and washing my hands obsessively.
    It is never too late to be what you might have been. ~ George Elliot


    My podcast about being a rookie triathlete:Kelownagurl Tris Podcast

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    I get colds a lot less if I'm diligent about eating nutritious food (not vit/min supplements, though I do take seal oil and calcium), getting enough sleep regularly (very important), washing my hands and avoiding people who have colds!

    A couple of stressful days with junk food, little sleep and a few commutes on the metro among runny-nosed people and I'm down, though... and they take forever to go away completely. (the colds, not the runny-nosed people :P)

    I take echinacea on occasion if I feel a cold early on, but for me it seems to just postpone the cold until I stop taking it.
    Last edited by lph; 08-21-2007 at 01:20 PM.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Birmingham UK
    Posts
    12
    I eat well, lots of fruit and vegetables, but I work in a Childrens hospital emergency department and am often on shift after a long training ride which however much you wash your hands still exposes me to more bugs than most!
    Read some papers on role of multivitamins with probiotics in healthy 30ish year olds, seemed to reduce number and duration of colds. Also read the stuff about zinc and vitamin c - neither very compelling. Finally good carbohydrate drinks during and post training seem to minimise drop in immune markers post excercise although whether this helps with actually getting infections is unclear. I think I will look at multivitamins with probiotics and try not to do my long rides on days when I work an 8 hour shift afterwards!

 

 

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