How to overcome the common cold as quickly as possible


In the last week I have been lucky enough to get a little winter sun- it’s the perfect tonic to the quickly turning weather in the UK. I’m working on a project with John Lunt, founder of Human Race events and organiser of the triathlon at the London Olympic Games in 2012. On the way out John picked up a cold so I thought I would share this blog with you all as it’s the time of year when many of us fall victim to the sniffs and sniffles. Getting a cold is an unpleasant inconvenience, what can you do to ensure your quick return to health.


Know the early warning signs and get in early. Colds are easily spread, especially when compromised by a heavy training load, so if you have been in the company of someone with a cold you should look out for symptoms so you can tackle the problem straightaway. Feeling tired in general, a slight headache and a feeling in your nose or throat when you awake are all signs a cold is on its way. Do these 5 things to help your speedy recovery.

Stop training and sleep. Gains are not going to come while you are fighting infection, so it is better to rest and recover quickly, replace your usual training time with extra sleep. Restart training when healthy rather than hold onto your cold because of inadequate rest.

Don’t panic. Telling athletes and fitness enthusiasts not to exercise and to rest properly tends to induce panic. But remember the quality of training is more important than quantity – and training when you are not feeling 100 percent will not give you good quality, worthwhile returns.

Take Vitamin C. Take 3g of Vitamin C the moment you have the inkling of a cold, then 2g three times a day until three days after your last symptom. Vitamin C can lessen the symptoms and the duration of a cold.

Eat lightly and increase your intake of vegetables and dark berries. Including foods rich in Vitamins A and C – for example, carrots, beetroot, green peppers and citrus fruits. Eat lightly, if your not training the reduced volume of food won’t harm you, also, if you can save energy on digestion, you can use it elsewhere- like getting better.

Drink plenty of fluids (water and herbal teas) – your weight in kilograms x 0.033 litres) every day, as you will be losing liquid through mucus. Fluids help to clear your airways.

Home-made chicken broth (an organic chicken carcase, onions, celery and herbs, and cider vinegar simmered for several hours then strained, seasoned and consumed) is also a good fluid to drink. Give the hot toddy a miss, as it’s wise to avoid alcohol.

Once you have recovered, wait another 24 hours until starting to train once more.

Paul Roberts