Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) can compromise athlete preparation and performance, so countermeasures are desirable. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of ColdZyme® Mouth Spray (ColdZyme) on self-reported upper respiratory tract infection in competitive endurance athletes under free-living conditions. One hundred and twenty-three endurance-trained, competitive athletes (recruited across 4 sites in England, UK) were randomised to control (no treatment, n = 61) or ColdZyme (n = 62) for a 3-month study period (between December 2017 and March 2018; or December 2018 and April 2019). They recorded daily training and illness symptoms (Jackson common cold questionnaire) during the study period. A total of 130 illness episodes were reported during the study with no difference in incidence between groups (episodes per person: 1.1 ± 0.9 Control, 1.0 ± 0.8 ColdZyme, P = 0.290). Episode duration was significantly shorter in ColdZyme compared to Control: Control 10.4 ± 8.5 days vs. ColdZyme 7.7 ± 4.0 days, P = 0.016). Further analysis to compare episodes with poor vs. good compliance with ColdZyme instructions for use (IFU) within the ColdZyme group showed a greater reduction in duration of URTI when compliance was good (9.3 ± 4.5 days in ColdZyme poor IFU compliance vs. 6.9 ± 3.5 days in ColdZyme good IFU compliance, P = 0.040). ColdZyme may be an effective countermeasure to reduce URTI duration, which was significantly lower (by 26-34%) in the ColdZyme treatment group (with no influence on incidence). This may have implications for athlete performance.
- Common cold