You are currently viewing Tips from Andrew Huberman and Rhonda Patrick on How to Suffer Less from the Common Cold

Tips from Andrew Huberman and Rhonda Patrick on How to Suffer Less from the Common Cold

  • Post last modified:27 December 2023
  • Reading time:7 mins read

Beyond plenty of sleep and rest, what should you do if you feel like you may be getting a cold? As it turns out, Andrew Huberman and Rhonda Patrick both have no-cost or low-cost tips on ways you can avoid getting a cold, or if you’ve already been exposed, potentially shortening the duration in which you feel awful.

What is the Common Cold?

The common cold is caused by a bunch of different viruses, with the rhinovirus taking the lead. The symptoms usually include runny or stuffy nose, coughing, sneezing, and a sore throat. It is estimated that around 1 billion people suffer from the common cold in the United States each year.

Tips from Andrew Huberman

According to Huberman, there are a few things you can try to activate your immune system in response to a respiratory tract infection such as a cold. These include:

  • Heat exposure such as with a sauna or hot shower
  • Spirulina supplement
  • Cyclic hyperventilation (e.g. Wim Hof breathing)

Heat Exposure

The idea is to use deliberate heat exposure before the infection completely takes hold to trigger the immune system into action. In his video, Huberman briefly discusses the study Effect of a Single Finnish Sauna Session on White Blood Cell Profile and Cortisol Levels in Athletes and Non-Athletes.

basically what they found was that just one 15 minutes sauna session could really increase white blood cell profiles and could adjust cortisol levels in ways that were beneficial for combating infection.

However, please use caution. As he points out, if you’re already running a fever, protocols such as the sauna could cause you to heat up to levels that could be dangerous.


Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is often used as a health supplement because it is very rich in nutrients. How does it help with colds? Basically, in some cases it can reduce rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal passages) by way of inhibiting the activity of histaminergic mast cells.

significant decreases in nasal obstruction, improved ability to smell, improved sleep, daily working inflammatory cytokines were reduced as well as reduction in nasal itching

Beyond the common cold, Spirulina may help with hay fever symptoms as well.

Cyclic Hyperventilation

This one sounds a bit strange, but makes perfect sense after Huberman explains it (he even demonstrates it!). The idea is to use breathing techniques to trigger the release of adrenaline, which in turn reduces inflammation.

Here is an example protocol:

  • Take 25 to 30 deep inhales and exhales
  • With the lungs empty, hold your breath until you feel the impulse to inhale
  • Repeat for 2 to 4 rounds

Watch the full video here:

Tips from Rhonda Patrick

Vitamin C

In her video, Patrick discusses studies on how Vitamin C can prevent or decrease the common cold (and other respiratory illnesses) through different mechanisms such boosting the lung’s defenses.

vitamin C’s role as an antioxidant could prevent hydrogen peroxide producing bacteria from inactivating the immune response in the lungs 

Watch the full video here: