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Caught my 3rd cold already this year. Whats up?(8 posts)

Caught my 3rd cold already this year. Whats up?Jimbob
Apr 18, 2001 8:16 AM
They have not been your average wimpy colds either. My wife, who exercise maybe half as much as me has only caught one of these. Do athletes weaken their immune system due to hard riding?
re: Caught my 3rd cold already this year. Whats up?muncher
Apr 18, 2001 8:26 AM
Dunno the medical answer, but I know that I am more susceptible to snuffles etc when I am tired and have been training hard (doesn't happen too often these days - hand spinoff of now having aircon desk job). Also seem to spend more time getting hot/cold/wet/windblown and so on when training - suspect there must be a link there...
Could be the training, might just be coincidenceCory
Apr 18, 2001 8:26 AM
I used to run 70+ miles a week, and I read a couple of stories about the effect of that on the immune system. There's some evidence (or there seemed to be, back in the '80s) that that much training really does weaken your response to disease. I think it was just a general stress thing, depleting your resources because your body was under stress all the time. I know if I went beyond about 50 miles a week (running, not cycling), I seemed to be sick more. It seemed to help a little to take a day or two off each week, then make one or two runs longer to make up the mileage.
Or, hey, it could just be bad luck.
over-stress is my guessBreck
Apr 18, 2001 8:55 AM
Even a small sniffle is a warning sign.

Used to rarely get a cold, but when I did was always a beaut.

Other factors besides biking, etc. are every-day living stresses add to the equation that are not run-biking related. However believe that level of physical fitness keeps you from getting more colds, tiredness, etc. than the public at large.

cheers
What's your vitamin regime?Ixnixit
Apr 18, 2001 9:40 AM
I used to have a personal strong link between exercise stress and getting sick, especially in the colder months. Long ride in March often preceded a cold or flu within a few days. I could reasonably expect to be sick 2 or 3 times per winter. Then I changed my behavior - I take 1500mg of chewable Vitamin C, 800mg of d-alpha tocapherol (sp) Vitamin E and a loaded multi-Vitamin (minerals+regulars) daily. I also became absolutely obsesive about washing my hands and avoiding door knobs and handrails (I know it sounds odd.) Result - have not had a full blown cold or flu or anything else for more than 3 years. About once per season I feel something coming on, but it never takes hold. I've shared this with a few friends who are marathon runners and all of them have told me of the same results. Might very well be a placebo, but it works for me, try it.
Absolutely agree with the handwashing advice. Germs causebill
Apr 18, 2001 10:37 AM
colds. Exposure to cold/changes in weather do not seem to cause colds with any scientific reliability, despite anecdotal evidence and intuition to the contrary.
Assuming that, for you, none of that has changed from prior practices, why are you getting more colds now remains your question. I think that hard, really, really, really hard training could stress your immune system. Makes sense.
For myself, however, I'm in as good shape now as I've been in years, and I'm getting far fewer colds even with two little germ-mongering kids, including a three year old who sometimes will hand (finger?) me a booger because, hey, what's she going to do with it? Sometimes I feel a cold coming on, and after working out for awhile (although maybe not as strenuously as you young turks), and I feel better.
immune sys depressionsteveuk
Apr 18, 2001 4:47 PM
does occur during exercise I saw it on the TV (so it must be true;)
Apparently also for around 20 mins AFTER strenuous exercise the immune system is as depressed ie not functioning as much as an 'ill' person. It makes sense that this body system eases off when there are far more potentially damaging stresses (the exercise) occuring. If your body didn't kick in rapid oxygen/blood transportation or temperature control you could die in minutes from heatstroke etc - so the immune system naturally takes a back seat when really working hard. White blood cells carry your defence system (but NO oxygen unlike the red ones) and it may be these which reduce in volume in the blood to be replace by reds under heavy loads - just my explanation here. Anyway as this depession is reported as true avoid any sources of bugs for 1/2 hour after a ride so don't stop at a burger bar for example 1/2 way through a long ride (as if u would!).

Over training definately leads to a prolonged depression of the immune system. I think this would explain Lance's cancer. I know that's going to be questioned but it stands to reason the guy obviously pushes it all the way and once something like that takes hold the more you stress yourself (exercise) the more the disease gets the better of your immune system. A golden rule for all of us is that if the exercise is making us feel bad or ill we doing too much so ease off for a little while. You will come back stronger in the long run. Some pros have done their best work after a long lay off (Lance, Pantanni after his leg break and the guy that just came second in paris roubaix had a bad motorbike crash with lay off last year right?).

The vitamin C point is very true. You can take it before a nights drinking (2,000mg) and have no hangover it really detoxifies the blood). Eat a well balanced diet and multi-vitamins def important too because modern agricultural practices mean crop soil and hence the crops have depleted levels of vitamins + minerals. Organic food has been proved to contain far more vits + mins than intensivly farmed food.
immune system & trainingdoug in co
Apr 20, 2001 8:56 AM
definitely is a link, Dr Noakes did a study over several years of ultramarathoners after a 35mile race, upper respiratory infections among the faster better-trained runners were something like 25% higher than for the general population. As a rule, moderate training boosts the immune system, but hard extended periods of training and long races will depress it. One winter after several years of good racing I had 12 colds in a row, had to go on a immunoglobulin regime to finally shake it.
Also stress is definitely a part of this: cf Dr Selyes' General Adaptation syndrome theory, basically all the stresses in your life, not just training, have physical effects. As a gross simplification: there is a limited amount of 'adaptation energy' available to deal with stress, enough stressors will push the organism to the limit of adaptation and breakdowns occur. So think about what else is happening in your life..
http://www.healthnewsnet.com/gap.html
http://online.sfsu.edu/~psych200/unit10/104.htm