Ask The Trainer #42 – Preventing & Shortening Colds


What can I do to prevent colds and shorten colds? Are there certain vitamins or remedies that help?

SRJ Fitness


Cold and flu viruses can live on gym and office equipment, and even money, for hours. However, cold or flu virus exposure does not automatically mean you will get sick. If you have a strong immune system, it should be quite easy to avoid getting sick.

But, if your immune system is weak, you are highly vulnerable to such viruses. In other words, they WILL overtake your body.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Well, it also holds true for colds, the flu, and other viruses.

So, it’s very important to strengthen your immune system.

Nutrients That Aid With Colds

I’ve tried many different supplements over the past decade to try and stay healthy during cold and flu season. These below are my favorites.

1. Vitamin D

This potent antimicrobial agent produces 200 to 300 different antimicrobial peptides in your body. They can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Sadly, insufficient Vitamin D levels significantly impair your immune response. This makes you far more susceptible to catching colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.

The best way to obtain Vitamin D is from the sun. However, if you can’t spend time outdoors on a daily basis, take a Vitamin D3 supplement. Vitamin D3 usually comes in soft gels or tablets with a potency of 1,000 IUs to 5,000 IUs. Unfortunately, I don’t spend much time outdoors. So, I take 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 per day with a meal.

2. Probiotics

Your digestive tract has hundreds of different bacteria species that help you digest your food. Now researchers are finding evidence of a relationship between “good” bacteria and the immune system.

Probiotics supplements help rebalance gut ecology in favor of the “good” bacteria. Probiotics overwhelming harmful bacteria and pathogens by stealing their food sources to prevent them from growing and multiplying.

Additionally, probiotics increase the concentration and activity of certain immune cells. I’ve found that probiotic supplements with at least 2 billion or more CFU (colony forming units) to be the most effective.

3. Bee Propolis

Bees use propolis as a type of ‘caulk’ to seal cracks in their honeycombs. They also spread a thin propolis layer over all surfaces of the honeycomb’s cells inside and out.

Propolis possesses strong antimicrobial properties. Therefore, it prevents infection inside the honeycomb. In addition, it sterilizes the honeycomb cells containing larvae.

Similarly, propolis might prevent infections in humans. It’s available as an extract in capsule form or in a raw honey mixture. The general recommendation for propolis is 250-500 mg per day.

4. Royal Jelly

Bee larvae, as well as queen bees, use this honeybee secretion for nutrition. Worker bees secreted it from their Hypopharyngeal glands, and feed it to all the larvae in the colony.

Researchers have discovered supplementing with royal jelly may aid in ‘balancing’ the immune system. Scientists extracted a special protein from royal jelly called glycoprotein. They exposed it to the spleen cells of mice. As a result, this protein suppresses IL-2 and IL-4 cells. This action is a significant component of immune signaling required for the activation, proliferation, and survival of T cells.

T cells are a type of white blood cell that reject foreign tissue. Additionally, they also regulate immunity and control the production of antibodies to fight infection.

Royal jelly is available in an extract in capsule form and in a raw honey mixture. The recommended dosage is generally 500-1,000mgs

5. Raw Honey

This naturally sweet bee product contains 22 amino acids and 27 minerals. Plus, antioxidants, a full range of vitamins, and over 5,000 active enzymes. Moreover, this wide spectrum ‘super-food’ has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. For these reasons, people have used raw honey for medicinal purposes worldwide for centuries.

It has a well-known reputation for improving digestive health and strengthening the immune system. For example, Raw Honey also helps reduce allergies, and fight various forms of infections.

Raw honey is more beneficial than pasteurized or processed honey. Unfortunately, heat destroys active enzymes and health-promoting chemicals during pasteurization and processing.

Overall, 1 TBSP each day is most effective to prevent infections during cold and flu season.

NOTE: Be sure to check with your doctor before using any of these supplements. Some individuals may be allergic and have a negative reaction to bee products.

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

Have A Question For Chad?

Just click the button below.