How Do I… Stop catching colds?

With more than 100 different kinds of cold virus there are very few people who will escape without catching one cold a year, particularly in the winter. However, there is plenty you can do to reduce your chances of ruining the festivities with a runny nose and cough.

The number one rule is to wash your hands frequently. The cold virus can’t multiply outside of the body but if you pick it up off a surface or by shaking someone’s hand, it’s easy to transfer it to your body through the eyes, nose or mouth.

It’s not soap that will get rid of the virus but the rubbing action and water, so make sure you give your hands a good scrub. A hard training session can weaken the immune system so for a few hours after training try, when you can, to avoid too much contact with people who may have a virus that can be passed on to you.

Look after your body by making sure your glycogen stores are fully stocked by using a carb drink during rides and having a recovery drink or snack afterwards. Use a recovery drink containing glutamine as this has been shown to reduce the number of colds caught by
athletes in training.