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David Stegman 09-10-2007 07:28 AM

Always sick it seems!
I've been doing Crossfit and Crossfit-like routines now for almost 2 years. I eat almost 100% clean and I feel like I have my diet pretty much dialed in...however I seem to get sick often.

Colds, strep throat (twice), sinus infection, and a nasty bout with a staph infection but that was from no-gi jiu jitsu class I believe.

Is there any relation to lower bodyfat and physical conditioning to being more receptive to getting sick?

I don't remember getting sick this often back when I ate bad and didn't work out much..LOL

Susie Rosenberg 09-10-2007 08:50 AM

Re: Always sick it seems!
Well, first the standard disclaimer: consult your physician for a thorough physical exam and history.

Second, if you are really training hard, you are stressing your body. One of the markers of the stress response is higher secretion of cortisol from the adrenal glands. Cortisol's actions in the body include: muscle catabolism (breakdown of muscle), elevation of blood sugar, shift to fat storage, especially in the abdomen and across the back, and lowered immunity to infection.

This a sometimes a sign of overtraining. Other signs of overtraining include increased morning heart rate, decreased athletic performance, poor sleep, mood changes including depression and decreased enthusiasm for exercise, slower recovery--heart rate takes longer to go down after a workout.

Sleep---good, restorative sleep---is critical when training hard. You can be marginally ill, physiologically speaking, when you are really pushing the boundaries, and that's when that sleep becomes important.

Could you be overtraining?


David Stegman 09-10-2007 08:54 AM

Re: Always sick it seems!
Yes I could be overtraining and that may be the issue here.

lately I've been hitting BJJ class 4 times a week and Crossfit 3-4 times a week. Plus full-time work schedule, and family obligations.

Ben Kaminski 09-10-2007 08:57 AM

Re: Always sick it seems!
Optimum body fat and good conditioning should make you sick less, not more. Very low body fat can compromise your immune system, however. Unless you have ultra low BF then this probably does not apply.

You could be more vulnerable to colds etc. than in the past due to overtraining. If this is the case, adjust your training to allow better recovery. Also, you could be exposed to more forms of colds etc. than in the past from jiu jitsu, or your CF gym.

Those seem like two possible contributors to your experience of being sick often.

Another tip is that whenever you enter a new germ environment (new job, new school, new group of people), it is common to catch a cold or something from the group. The group has already contracted and become immune to one or more types of cold, but you are being exposed to all of them at the same time. This usually happens in the first couple weeks only, so not applicable to your entire experience.

Wash your hands, take a multivitamin, maybe some extra vitamin C, get enough sleep, and you are doing everything you can I think.

Hope this helps!

Craig Brown 09-10-2007 10:27 AM

Re: Always sick it seems!
I'd be checking my resting heart rate before getting out of bed each morning. See where that is at, then begin to ease up on the output level and see if it goes down. Make sure you are getting enough fats in your diet, and look at increasing your antioxidant dosage. Do you sleep enough and well?


David Stegman 09-10-2007 12:26 PM

Re: Always sick it seems!
I sleep pretty good I would say. In bed around 9:30 on most weeknights...asleep by 10:30 and up around 6:30.

I feel like my diet is good and balanced. Zoneish but I don't measure out things.

I'll check the resting heartrate for sure and cut back a bit on my workout routines.

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