As the weather turns, and the winter jackets come out, catching the cold is more common than not. So what do you do when the sniffles and sore throat come knocking? Most of us reach for the closest over the counter drug or run off to the doctor – but what if I told you there’s a much simpler and healthier way to go about getting better? Below I have highlighted simple but effective ways to encourage a speedy recovery from the common cold.

1. Probiotics

In a study published by the British Journal of Nutrition, half of the students in the study were given probiotics while the other half were given a placebo. While all of the students caught a cold at roughly the same rate, the students who were taking probiotics experienced symptoms 34% less severe and missed fewer days of school (15 days vs. 34).

The inflammatory response initiated by the viruses causes symptoms such as a stuffy nose and sore throat. Probiotics are known to reduce the body’s inflammatory responses, naturally reducing the severity of these symptoms.

So what does this mean? It means that probiotics may just help us bounce back from our cold sooner – meaning we can get back to school and work in no time (yay!)

My favorite brand is Flora! They can be found at most health food stores!


2. Reduce Consumption of Processed Sugars

A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1973 gave volunteers the same amount of sugar found in a litre of pop. They then drew blood of these individual and mixed it with bacteria. Compared to those who had fasted, their white blood cells neutralized far less bacteria.

What does this mean? It means when consuming high amounts of processed sugars, we lessen our body’s ability to fight off bacteria.

So what should we do when we’re sick? Stick to whole foods and allow our body to fight off the infection!


3. Warm Lemon & Honey Water

Warm water with lemon and honey may sound simple, but it’s extremely effective at alleviating cold related symptoms. Honey is high in antioxidants and carries antibacterial properties. Not only that, honey is also extremely soothing to a sore throat. Lemon is known to thin mucous, which would alleviate symptoms of congestion. In addition, lemon juice alters our body’s pH levels, potentially making our bodies less hospitable to viruses and bacteria.

4. Rest

As a trainer, I get asked whether or not I recommend people to workout when they’re sick. My answer? Absolutely not. When we exercise, we put our body under a healthy amount of stress. However, when we’re sick, our body is already under a great amount of stress and exercising only makes this worse.