Post meet reality – part 1: respiratory infection

Not the first, not the last.

The massive immunological stress a competition generates is not exactly new to science or to sports specialists. Powerlifting is somewhat extreme in this sense. I just read Howard Penrose’s article about his flu and I bet many of us were/are exactly in the same condition.

What I didn’t know was that athletes were more prone to respiratory infections after a heavy stimulus (there can be nothing heavier than a World Championship).

I’ve been ill for three days already. I believe that the fact that my sleep, which is always a mess, was even more seriously disrupted by the time zone change has something to do with this. I competed on November the 8th, refereed on the 9th and 11th (6 hours involvement both competing and refereeing), had ridiculous amounts of sleep until we left Las Vegas on the 12th and then rested very little while in Ohio, which we left after a sleepless night on the 16th of November.

As soon as I got here, in DC, I believe on the 17th, I already had the first symptoms of a viral respiratory infection.

For some reason, I thought that the fact that I remained happy would protect me from any infection, which makes sense, at least a little bit: post meet depression obviously potentiates the inflammatory effect of the exercise induced stress response. But, hey! No sleep and junk food are tough to counteract with a smile.

I am not sure if this would be avoidable at all with any measure within my reach given the circumstances, I’ll have to figure this out later.

Meanwhile, there’s another meet in 10 days which I must be in shape for. So, time to use all recovery tools available: supplements, rest, lot’s of fluids.


Read more:

Sport, immune system and respiratory infections.

Exercise-induced asthma, respiratory and allergic disorders in elite athletes: epidemiology, mechanisms and diagnosis: part I of the report from the Joint Task Force of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) in cooperation with GA2LEN.


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