Getting under the weather is not pleasant at all. It stops you from achieving those power workouts that you've been hitting hard recently and the amount of weight loss you can experience in mere days are absolutely terrifying. Here is a list of things that you can do to get yourself back on track as soon as possible.
1. See your doctor!
This step is extremely important. What could be mistaken as the common flu could be something else. For example, I once went to the doctor to get a sick note to get off work. I would not have gone if I didn't have to, because it was obviously typical flu. Once there, the doctor told me that I had a variation of flu that was floating around at the time that affects the heart. He told me that I must be careful not to increase my heart rate too much for a few weeks, since some athletes had died from exercising while having this sort of flu. Now I would not have exercised when I was still sick, but I would probably have gone to sit in the sauna to help my body sweat the stuff out. The doctor told me that doing that could have permanently damaged my heart. Yikes!
Try to get as much sleep as you can. If you are lucky enough to score a few days off work, sleep whenever you feel tired. Don't worry about trying to keep up a certain sleep schedule right now. Also, don't stress too much if you can't sleep. Sometimes, being sick interrupts the sleep cycle. This is okay, don't worry about it. Stressing about the fact that you just can't fall asleep is likely going to make you more depressed. If you can't sleep, lie in bed and watch a movie or two, or browse your phone until you do get sleepy.
Give your body enough time to get over itself. Either drastically decrease physical activity or don't do any exercise at all for a few days. The sooner you get better, the sooner you can push for greater gains.
4. Stay hydrated
People always tell you to keep super hydrated when you are sick. This is because it helps your body to heal itself. When you are dehydrated, your body has to deal with that as well as being sick and its processes cannot run as well as if you were properly hydrated. Extra water also helps the body clear toxins and other impurities from your system, making way for a quicker recovery. Take note that fevers (increased body temperature as your body's response to try and sweat out the germs) can increase water requirements, since fevers dehydrate you quicker. Proper hydration also helps to combat nausea.
5. Stay positive
Although slight depression often accompanies illness, staying positive can help you heal faster. Try not to worry about work, losing the muscle you've worked so hard for or the fact that you are not being productive right now. You will get everything back once you feel better again. Rather try to enjoy the fact that you have an excuse to rest and kick back for a while. Positivity has been shown to speed up recovery.
Glutamine is a great amino acid that helps the body to speed up recovery. This works well for muscle recovery, but also speeds up healing from sicknesses as well. Take a teaspoon of glutamine powder twice a day with a glass of water to shorten your down time.
This might be an obvious one, but now would be a great time to make sure that you are taking your multivitamins.
8. Recovery foods
Weird enough, chicken soup actually does help people recover from illness. Fruit and vegetables high in vitamin C like oranges and lemons also help to give your immune system a boost.
9. Green tea
Green tea also has great effects for your immune system. The small amounts of caffeine will also give you a little bit of energy if you need it. This is great if you can't get off work or have things that you need to do and can't get out of it. The mood-elevating effects will make you feel a bit better as well. Try not to have green tea if you are planning to sleep soon afterwards though, because the caffeine content will hamper your sleep cycle. I would have a cup after waking up in the morning once I feel that I am not going to be sleeping for a while. Mix in a little bit of honey to ease a sore throat, since honey is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-septic.
10. Give it time
Ironically, the more you try to rush things the longer it will take for you to start feeling better. Don't worry too much about your current state and use this as a good excuse to go on a series binge.
Being sick is not nice, but it is something that all of us go through. Give your body the space it needs and you will start feeling better before you know it. STAY STRONG!