Should you be training right now or not?
We asked our Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Kevin Sprouse on the Feed Podcast these exact questions and more. Dr. Sprouse has a private practice of mostly Pro Athletes including Tour de France Cyclists NFL Players and PGA Players. You can listen in on the podcast here.
In case you don't have time to listen, I've created a para-phrased summary for you below, it doesn't really do justice to the full podcast, but can give you some quick answers.
Update: We have a new Immunity+ Boosting Pack (including Dr. Sprouse's recommendations) that is back in stock and available now including pharmaceutical grade Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Multi-Vitamin, and Propolis on the market. Plus we have also created a New Kid's Version of the Immunity Boosting Pack with supplements made for Kids.
Kids Immunity+ Pack
Thorne Vitamin D
Thorne Childrens Basic Nutrients
What is the #1 question athletes are asking concerning the CoronaVirus?
The most common question athletes are asking is what can I do and can't I do during times like this. The answer revolves around prevention and staying healthy in carrying on in normal life while still being socially responsible.
Should athletes that are young and healthy be concerned about CoronaVirus?
It is true that for the vast majority of young and otherwise healthy individuals that contract CoronaVirus you won't end up with a major illness and most likely won't experience a ton of consequences afterward.
However, there are a small number of young, healthy individuals that develop severe cases. They can have a hard time with the disease when they have it and also suffer some longterm consequences to their lungs. The idea of losing any percentage of lung function is a particularly troubling idea for endurance athletes.
What should endurance athletes consider during their time at home?
First and foremost, athletes should stay active. While there are no competitions to train for at the moment, there is good evidence that shows moderate exercise supports the immune system. Exercise is also good for your state of mind.
How should we be thinking about my training load?
Studies show that strenuous exercise over 75% of VO2 Max and more prolonged exercise (over 90min) will start to decrease the functioning of your immune system. This a temporary response and is dose-dependent.
Loads and intensities should be dropped 20-30% as to not put yourself at an immune disadvantage during the pandemic. This is highly individual based on current fitness, level of competition, and overall life stress.
Should I stop going to the gym?
We don't recommend going to a gym at this time. The CoronaVirus spreads widely through contact with droplets. It is possible if you were attending a small gym that had almost no other people and you washed your hands after every machine it might be ok. However, this isn't very realistic.
You can accomplish a lot of gym work at home through bodyweight exercises and other modalities. Focusing on the often neglected areas of mobility and core will pay dividends down the road when competitions return.
Does it make sense to still go on group rides?
We don't recommend going on group rides at this moment. It's allergy season and people are already coughing and sneezing while you ride. Add in 15 - 20 people on a group ride and the potential for viral spread is large.
We do recommend still going on smaller rides with 2 - 4 people, being conscientious of hygiene and respecting social distance.
Is the swimming pool a Petri dish?
We don't 100% know the answer to this question with regards to CoronaVirus. Typically chlorine will inactivate a virus. However, there is some evidence supporting fecal/oral transmission. The bigger concern lies in all of the communal touchpoints entering and exiting the pool (showers, benches, sinks, handrails, etc.). If you have your own pool and it is only accessed by the family you should be fine.
What supplements should we be considering?
We recommend starting with a high-quality multivitamin, especially if your diet isn't great. However, we always recommend improving diet before starting any supplementation. Vitamin D is well researched for preventing upper respiratory infection and influenza. It should be noted that more Vitamin D isn't always better, it is making sure that you have adequate Vitamin D levels. Most athletes and most Americans, in general, tend to be low in Vitamin D.
Taking Supplement is like an extra insurance policy. In most cases, there isn't evidence that more is better, but you don't want to be deficient right now (like more endurance athletes are in Vitamin D). For athletes looking to do everything they can to stay healthy, now is a good time to take a measured approach to use high-quality supplements (not typically the kind you buy at the drug store), you want brands like Thorne, Quicksilver, Ortho Molecular that The Feed has curated and are typically only available through a medical practitioner.
Thorne Vitamin D
Thorne Childrens Basic Nutrients
Ortho Molecular Mitocore
Quicksilver Vitamin C with RLA (Liposomal)
1.7 fl oz
What is the efficacy of Vitamin C in treating viruses?
There are many studies supporting the supplementation of Vitamin C in the prevention of cold and flu. Quality and delivery of Vitamin C are very important when choosing the right supplement. The timing of ingestion is also important for athletes. We recommend taking Vitamin C a minimum of 6 - 8 hours before or after training.
Are asymptomatic carriers contagious?
Unfortunately, young and healthy people can appear to be asymptomatic and still be contagious. This describes many of the people still going to gyms and attending group rides/runs. If one person affects 3-5 other people, you can see how this virus can quickly spread.
How athletes are using forced time off training to improve their game.
Athletes across all disciplines are using this forced 'time-off' to focus on areas they normally aren't able to train: fitness, strength, mobility.
What are some of the foundational aspects we should be focusing on?
Use this time to step back and evaluate the foundational basics. How can you enhance day to day recovery? What areas of your diet could use improvement? How do I improve the quality of my sleep? These are all foundational and controllable elements that can move the needle with additional focus.
Does the Keto diet make sense right now?
Low carb diets are great at certain times and for certain purposes. However, we know from numerous studies that training fasted or under-fueled puts athletes at a greater risk for immune suppression. If you want your immune function to be optimized, now might not be the time for fasted runs/rides.
What is the probability of the Olympics, Tour de France, and other major competitions?
The scale and impact of this outbreak are yet to be determined. While we hope for the best, global competition in the foreseeable future is still uncertain.
What is Dr. Sprouse’s protocol?
Focus on the basics
- Social distancing
- Not going to the gym
- Prioritizing sleep
Continuing to exercise
- Running outside
Kids Immunity+ Pack
Family Immunity+ Pack