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Have you ever gotten sick the week before an important race? I have. Getting sick can really screw with your fitness and almost guarantee a poor race performance.

What makes it worse is that you’re probably stressed out getting ready for the race (which leads to a compromised immune system,) and if you’re traveling, you’re going to be exposed to new germs, making your immune system function more critical than usual.

Plus, I HATE getting sick. I’ve managed to get sick at the most random times, even when I’m eating healthy and not overtraining, so I’m always trying to find ways to prevent illness.

One such way I found is by using a product called Swype Cold & Flu Shield. You’ve probably never heard of it because it’s relatively new, but it was developed by Kent C. New, a physician with a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, so it sounds legitimate.

What is Swype?

As far as I know, it’s the only product of its kind. You could think of it like an advanced hand sanitizer gel that you use on your nostrils rather than hands.

The point of using it around your nostrils is that that’s where a virus is most likely to enter your body. And since you’re still likely to touch your face at some point no matter how many times you are told not to, there’s a good chance your face is encountering these germs every time you’re out in public.

So you use Swype daily, and it kills many of the viruses which cause colds and the flu before they affect you. That’s the plan at least.

Here’s what the website says:

Ingredients kill over 99.9% of all 25 viruses tested in lab tests, including H1N1 (swine flu), H5N1 (avian flu), and over 20 viruses which cause colds

Speaking of ingredients, the list contains items commonly used in cosmetics. I’m not a chemist so I can’t explain them any further, but I can say that during my two months of Swype use, I experienced no rash or reaction to the stuff.

How to use Swype:

This is very simple; it’s just as quick as using hand sanitizer.

Just squeeze the tube of Swype until a pinhead size drop comes out the top. (The older the tube, the harder you have to squeeze. If it’s a brand new tube, it will probably ooze out on its own, so be ready.)

Then wipe that onto your index finger, and rub the Swype gel between your thumb and index finger. Then rub it onto the outside of your nostrils.

I give my nostrils a quick wipe, then I wipe my fingers down the side of my face to get the residue off. (The gel doesn’t leave any streaks on your face.)

I’ll admit, it sounds like a lot of hassle, but once you try it, you see it’s really simple. And overall it’s no worse than carrying cough drops, using hand sanitizer, taking pills, etc.

Watching the video shows how easy it is:

How often to use Swype?

It is suggested that you use Swype 2-3 times per day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I typically used it twice per day, but would use it three times if I was likely to encounter a lot of germs.

Basically, the closer it is to cold season, and the more public and/or crowded areas I plan to visit, the more I use it. (Some days I forget and use it once per day, but that’s better than nothing I suppose.)

After a while, I began to wonder – if you’re an athlete that’s sweating a lot, or perhaps you swim, should you be worried about applying Swype more often? Or at least, time it so that you’re not applying Swype right before you get in the pool or hop in the shower?

And I got an answer from none other than Kent C. New, MD, PhD (a founding partner of the company that created Swype.)

The bottom line is, I don’t think how often or how much you sweat or blow your nose makes a huge difference in how often you need to use Swype. The reason why has to do with how I think the process works.

Without Swype, you get a virus on your hands, which you then transfer to your face by touch. The virus on your face then replicates and spreads into the nasal passages to set up and cause an infection we call the common cold. This process of replication and spread into the nose takes some unknown period of time, likely related to how much virus you get on your face and how close it is to the nose. Swype will help if you use it to kill virus on the skin at the entrance to your nostrils (called “the nares”) before this process completes itself.

By this rationale, how long Swype stays on the skin probably doesn’t matter a whole lot.

Hearing it explained like this made a lot of sense. Swype isn’t like wearing a mask over your nose. You don’t need a fresh layer coating your nostrils all the time. You just need to apply it often enough to kill whatever virus happens to be on your face before it reaches critical mass and overthrows your immune system!

My Swype Experience.

I starting using Swype on 8/9/2011.

I used it 2x per day normally, and 3x per day when out in unfamiliar public areas. Everything started off well, but much like starting an exercise program, one busy day was all it took to throw me off. One missed Swype application got me out of my groove.

I got back into it the next day though. A big help was keeping the Swype tube near my phone, wallet, or lip balm – this way I’d always see it and remember to use it.

So as long as I didn’t forget about it, I had no problem fitting Swype into my routine. Hey, it’s much easier than flossing my teeth!

I’ve been using it 3x per day more often now that we’re entering cold and flu season, and I don’t have a reason to stop.

My Swype Results.

The most obvious result is that I went all of August and September without getting sick, even though I encountered a few sick people along the way. The second day I used it was my first of eight days out of town, and even though I went to a lot of new, public places, I made it out perfectly healthy.

Not that I usually get sick in August, but somehow I did come down with something this past July, and it lingered for over three weeks! So that was a motivation to use Swype from then on!

Then, just before Columbus Day weekend, someone brought a nasty cold into the house! Normally this spells disaster for me, but I took it like a champ this time!

On Sunday and Monday I had very slight symptoms of a cold coming on, then on Tuesday and Wednesday I didn’t feel all that great (and I needed some extra sleep.) But Thursday I was back to normal!

Then just this past weekend, I basically lived with two sick people for two days, and encountered quite a few other sick people in public. And now, I feel great, with no cold symptoms whatsoever!

I was rather impressed with that outcome!

My final verdict is…

Going for two months without getting sick doesn’t really prove that Swype works, but how quickly I fought off a cold earlier this month boosts my faith in it! It’s certainly enough evidence to convince me to keep using it. If it works as claimed, I think that it’s well worth the price tag (~ $52 per year.)

If you train hard year-round or are otherwise in position to get sick easily, I’d give Swype a shot.

Official website: www.SwypeForHealth.com

Product Review Details
Company: Nuance Health
Product: Swype Cold & Flu Shield
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2015-10-07
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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1 Comment
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