Lately I have been getting asked “what should I do if I get sick? Tylenol? Z-pack? Sweating it out?”
I have always viewed viruses like radiation. it is the intensity and duration of the exposure that counts. Ever wonder why so many people died in the infirmary during previous outbreaks? It’s because there are groups of sick people next to groups of sick people who are next to groups of sick people. Stick a healthy person in there without proper protection and he/she will become more sick than if they would’ve been infected the way the infirmary patients naturally were.
So this brings me to my 1st tip:
If you are at home sick by yourself, that’s awesome! You are not by a bunch of other people with communicable disease while your immune system is working overtime to fight off your current sickness. BUT we can’t be sitting in our own contaminated area and expect a fast recovery. Open a window and turn on a fan. We want fresh air flowing into the room. Fans will decrease the amount of expelled carbon dioxide staying around you and in turn, increase available oxygen intake. Opening the window will ensure fresh air is coming in and old air is moving out.
Fun fact: When setting up popup hospitals for additional beds during the COVID 19 crisis, one big concern is always ventilation. Most of the time they had to upgrade the facility.
Stay Wrapped up, Warm, Sweat and Drink Water.
You just opened up a window and you feel cold, the fan isn’t helping. Well, we have to stay wrapped up and warm. The immune system works better in warm bodies vs cold bodies. Our blood flow works better when we are warm so we can push more nutrients and oxygen with more ease; our lymphatic fluid (a very important part of immune function) moves easier in a warm body versus a cold one, etc. etc. Our body functions better in warmth vs cold.
I have always felt that the term “Sweating Out A Sickness” got a bad rep or is misunderstood. No, the sickness and/or the cure doesn’t come from your sweat glands; but if you’re sweating, you’re pushing fluids through your body and those fluids will need to be replaced so that is a good thing. Think of it as a river: a flowing river tends to be a lot safer to drink, swim in, or eat from than a stagnant one.
Our body is made up of over 60% water, our brain is made up of 75% water, our lungs are 80% made of water. Want to feel like crap when sick? Be dehydrated. Drink one small Gatorade a day, and follow the rest with water. Drinking water keeps the liquids in our body less viscous, which allows nutrients to move with more ease. How much should I drink? 12 oz of Gatorade plus 50% of your body weight of water in ounces.
Drink Your Foods
Our body when we are fighting off a sickness is focused on fighting off that sickness so lets help our body save energy for the sickness while giving it nutrients that are readily available. When we eat soup, the nutrients in soup are more bioavailable than say a steak because the body doesn’t have to work hard to breakdown the food to get what it wants. So my advice is drink a fruit/veggie smoothie for breakfast, eat chicken noodle soup for lunch and dinner, and have cans of Slim Fast (or a meal replacement shake) in between meals.
Take Vitamin C and Vitamin D.
“Vitamin C distributes readily in high concentrations into immune cells, has antimicrobial and natural killer cell activities, promotes lymphocyte proliferation, and is consumed quickly during infections, effects indicating a prominent role in immune system regulation”
“Vitamin D functions to activate the innate and dampen the adaptive immune systems. Deficiency has been linked to increased risk or severity of viral infections. Supplementation slightly decreases the risk of acute respiratory tract infections and the exacerbation of asthma.”
There are plenty of supplements to take when we are sick. The two most common are Vitamin C and Vitamin D. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, where as Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. What does that mean you may ask? it means you will pee out Vitamin C, while Vitamin D is stored in fat cells. When I am sick, I take Vitamin C three times a day and Vitamin D just once at a mega dose.
Fun fact: Currently with COVID-19 hospital patients, they are using intravenous Vitamin C and Vitamin D with great results. Not every cure or treatment needs a long unpronounceable name at an expensive cost.