Coming back from the latest Illness and Antibiotics

Coming back from the Illness and Antibiotics with Biohacking
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I felt like being on peak-performance when I caught a cold while traveling. It was way better after 7 days but never quite gone. Two weeks later, on holiday, it made it‘s comeback with a full-fledged throat infection. Antibiotics treatment. Shit. Not. Again!

5 days of antibiotics and a week of sick-leave later, I‘m trying to find the quickest way back in the high performance game without risking a fall back. This is the short report of how I tried to recover back into full training, with a conclusion at the end of what I think was useful and what wasn't.

I was on a business trip to Paris. A long weekend of presentations, meetings and business dinners - fair time in summer. I felt sharp and strong, practically invincible. I had all these new biohacks in place, working for my body and mind. I woke up at 6.00am, took my supplements and went for a 30min run. Afterwards some stretching and a cold shower, followed by a 10 minute meditation. With a great feeling I went to breakfast and off to a full day of appointments. There I put a focus on taking some downtime in between clients, not stressing too much. Eating was far from regular and not so high in nutrition as usual, but much better than the average fair-sandwich from overpriced Paul’s. In the evening we went for a business dinner and took the public transport. The metro was packed with people and windy due to the open windows – in general a great feeling when you your body is overheating. I’m pretty sure it was there it got me!


Typical symptoms of a cold. I applied the usual remedies like ibuprofen against the pain and inflammation, a natural spray for the throat as well as rinsing my nose and throat with saltwater in the morning and evening. It felt much better, almost good (but not gone) after 7 days. We went on holiday with some light sport, diving and relaxing at the beach. There it came back with Angina, a bacterial infection in the throat. Treatment: antibiotics. I had to skip my next business trip and stay home for a whole week as my body was struggling with the healing process. 


As soon as I was feeling better I actively started into recovery mode, trying to get back to my A-game. That’s the process:


Recover week 1

  • Feed the body with good nutrients
  • Consume detox food like ginger, turmeric and lots of greens 
  • Take Supplements (Omega3, Vitamin C, Probiotics during and after antibiotics)
  • Drink plenty of water 
  • Flush nose & throat with salt water regularly
  • Relax 

Week 1 has been the first week after lying around at home with angina, on antibiotics. I didn't consider doing sports at all because I still felt weak.


Recover week 2 (out traveling on a business trip)

  • Take Supplements (Omega3, Vitamin C, Probiotics)
  • Light running 3x per week to get back into training rhythm 
  • Movement (move a bit every hour) 
  • Enough rest when needed (I still felt tired in the afternoon)
  • Flush nose & throat with salt water when blocked or itchy   

Since recovery week 2 , I was wearing an Oura Ring to track my sleep, activity and recovery. I feel it has helped me in better understanding my bodies signals. I think I‘m pretty detached from what my body wants to tell (e.g. I train instead of rest) so I will have to rely on data until this feeling returns. 


Recover week 3 

  • Follow regular training schedule but light intensity (4-5 units)
  • Take Supplements (Omega3, Vitamin C)
  • Movement (move a bit every hour) 
  • Enough rest when needed 


In week 3 I followed my sports schedule as usual, working out right in the morning, before breakfast, aiming at 4-5 units per week. BUT I listened to the Oura Ring in terms of readiness, activity and recovery, to avoid my typical mistake of wanting too much, too fast. I still didn’t feel like 100% in my throat. I thought a weekend with lots of light activity back home in Germany will help me recover but I was rather tired in general. I have the feeling I overstretched my limits a bit with the 5K and 1 Set Max. Rep test challenge on Thursday and Friday morning (for the Scorecard of Minimalist Biohacker). 


Recover week 4

  • Return to regular training schedule but medium intensity (4-5 units)
  • Introduce new Supplements (Omega3, Multi-Vitamin, Multi-Mineral, Adapto-Fuel, Ginseng-Extract, BCAAs before training, Creatine in the morning)
  • Enough rest when needed 


Besides still not feeling 100% ready in my throat and nose area I wanted to start with the regular training schedule with only one exception: I’ll be having a long hiking weekend with my friends, including a four hour climb on Saturday. So I wanted to take it easy from Wednesday onward to be ready for that adventure. 

CONCLUSION: not recovered enough

Over the weekend of week 3 to week 4 I didn't recover well and felt way below my usual fitness level. So besides a run on Monday morning in week 4, I stopped training to fully recover for the hike. I went to the infrared sauna on Wednesday to relax my muscles. It felt alright but not as if I made a large step in my health level. Tomorrow will be a long hiking weekend with my friends and I truly hope I'll be fully recovered after that, ready to tackle my ambitious body development goals.


> I still need to take it easier with sports after a more intense illness with antibiotic treatment. Maybe I'm starting too soon. 

> I have a feeling I'm doing too much, always working against my body with good intentions (e.g. sauna to recover, flushing nose with salt-water, ...).

> Mindset might play a big role here. Maybe I'm too focused on the illness part, negatively thinking myself into worse performance.

> I have an assumption: I might not handle caffeine well! It might raise my cortisol levels too high, stressing out my already exhausted immune system and body (but I absolutely love coffee and this would be really bad).

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