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The Man Flu: Colds & Cures

I have been unfortunate enough to have had been on and off having a cold for the past four / five weeks, which has climaxed in the harrowing experience of the man flu. Not only does man flu include the common cold symptoms such as a sore throat, a splitting headache and a nose which runs faster than Usain Bolt, it also includes a number of additional symptoms which are necessary for its diagnosis; for your reference, these are:

  • The overwhelming feeling that ‘this could well be the end
  • The overbearing reliance on one’s other-half (or nominated female carer) (usually much to their distaste)
  • Feelings of aloneness and the constant question: ‘why me?
Man flu can be a crippling condition – over the past few years more men have come through it alive, but many have still been lost to the depths of it, never to recover. So in all seriousness, that’s why I’ve put together some advice and suggestions for helping you either increase your chances of immunity and/or to recover with the most ease.


Using Paracetamol & Ibuprofen together
We have all used these in the past, but few of us use them in combination – the idea is not to take them at the same time, but to stagger them so that there is no downtime from each one, so you get a more effective respite.
Some paracetamol products come with sinus relief features (phenylephrine, guaifenesin etc.) which help with lowering swelling to improve your ease of breathing. They can also include caffeine which makes the pain relief part of the remedy work better and makes you feel less tired. If you do take caffeine during your illness however, make sure that you drink more water than you would do otherwise because caffeine contributes to becoming dehydrated.
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As mentioned above regarding caffeine, its important to keep your water levels very high during your illness. This is because you are losing a lot of liquids through your nose and constantly drying out your throat through coughing. If you are suffering from headaches, it is always important to make sure you have drank enough water as this is a common cause.
In my opinion, anything which helps when you’re well is also a benefit to you when you’re ill – so I also like to have effervescent drinks like Berocca or the supermarket alternatives instead of my daily coffees at work. They’ve got a ton of vitamins and minerals (importantly vitamin C and Zinc for immunity) which should help you out. You can also get ‘boost’ versions of the ordinary ones which include things such as caffeine and guarana extract, which again help especially if you are replacing your coffee or tea at work.One thing I tried recently was MANFLU, which you may have seen in the supermarkets. It goes for around £2 and is basically a shot of echinacea, zinc and vitamin C (echinacea is often used as an anti-inflammatory (1)). I’ve tried two of these out and I personally like the taste. As to how I felt afterward, I didn’t immediately feel a great deal different, but it is good to know that you’ve boosted your levels of these important vitamins and minerals.


Manuka honey is another supermarket life saver, which has natural antibacterial qualities with varying potencies. Honey has been known to protect against damage from bacteria, stimulate production of cells that repair tissue damaged by infection, and to have anti-inflamatory properties (1).

I usually just have a spoonful in the morning and one before sleep to get it in my system. It does however come at quite a price, usually being £10 plus.


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It was the great poet Byron who famously said “Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine” and he was totally right. A good laugh decreases stress hormones and increases antibodies and immune cells which mean you’re more resistant to diseases (2). As well as this, it releases endorphins and increases blood flow – it’s all positive!

So put on a comedy, read a joke book, have a laugh – it’ll do you good!

Well those are some of my suggestions that may or may not be helpful to you. I do hope that they help and that they go some way to relieving the male population of perhaps the greatest malady the world has ever seen.

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