Under the Weather

As people are people and one of the characteristics is people is to have an opinion, I’m sure you will have an opinion of this too. People either love it or hate it: dietary supplements.

Being a person, I had an opinion about these too. Not a very strong one actually, but I was never a huge fan of protein powders or diet shakes. Let’s face it, those are dietary supplements too. It seemed to me that these were mostly used by pumped up gym addicts and the barbie dolls they seem to attract. The people who think they need miracle foods to get their bodies healthy and, most important too them, looking tight. I never believed that any kind of pill or powder could be as good for your body as a healthy diet, combined with regular exercise. However, last weekend things changed.

My reasonably healthy diet, consisting of varied (mostly home-cooked) foods, including, but not limited too veggies, grains, proteins and two pieces of fruit per day, combined with daily exercise and at least 8 hours of sleep per night was not enough to keep me safe from a terrible cold that seems to have many people in its grip this time of the year. It started with a runny nose that I tried to “cure” by one of those “granny-knows tips” to get rid of a cold. The idea was to put half an onion next to your bed when sleeping to help you breath. Honestly, I’ve lain in bed fighting for air half the night and woke up (if you can call it waking when you haven’t really been sleeping) with a fever. My body was defeated by whatever virus was teasing it. Damn.

I realised that I had no panadol or other painkillers whatsoever and Monday really was not a day that I could afford to be sick, there was so much to do! The only thing I could think of was running to the chemist to buy some panadol (a box of 50 for €0.99, I have been on a slight overdose to keep myself going since).

The rate at wish I consume Panadol probably doesn’t entertain many of you, however the thing is, when I was on my Panadol-shopping-run, I laid eyes on an advertisement for dietary supplements. Not the protein or diet ones, but the vitamin ones. 2 + 1 free. Should I? It couldn’t possibly hurt to try. However, I had no knowledge or whatsoever on which ones I should take.

About half an hour of reading the information on different bottles I stood outside with a box containing 50 Panadols and three bottles of vitamin supplements: Iron (since I am a vegetarian), Vitamin C (seemed logical) and Calcium. I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought the calcium ones, what is my body going to use a boost of that for?

After some online research, I went back to the chemist to buy multivitamin supplements with a high dose of vitamin D. A vitamin that our skin can form with the help of sunlight (of which there is not much in winter).

I took my pills (carefull to not overdo it. One of each per day, max) and had a lot of sleep for a night. The result was shocking! Today, one day after the whole circus had started, the fever went down. I am still not feeling a 100%, but I am not feeling as weak as I was.

You might think of this as a coincidence, but everytime in life when I get sick, I get really, really sick. This was a small miracle for me absolutely changed my views on dietary supplements. Maybe, magic in a bottle or a jar does exist.

What is your must-try advice for surviving  a cold/the flu?