It’s now 48 hours after my second Pfizer Covid vaccine. I’m happy to report that side-effects were incredibly mild. My arm did not feel sore until about 8-12 hours after my shot. At first, I questioned whether they gave me a placebo, since I was expecting — at minimum — some arm soreness. The soreness did arrive, but it was very mild. It didn’t affect me much; I was able to use my arm as I normally do with a little less bounce; I skipped on any heavy lifting or weight lifting. After about 12 hours after dose 2 I felt a little more tired than usual. Not debilatingly tired, but tired enough that I went to bed about an hour earlier than I normally do 9:30PM — probably the time I should bed (I usually go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 6:40AM).
The next day I think was the day my immune system was actually starting to activate and build up more antibodies. 24 hours after the shot, the side effects were mild enough that it didn’t affect my day, but I did feel a little more run-down than usual: I felt a touch light-headed at times, a touch more sluggish, and at times I felt a little warm (which was remedied by simply wearing a t-shirt). That’s it! That was all the side effects. I heard folks in my age group (I’m 38) feel really sick after the 2nd shot. But, I felt fine. There were side-effects but they were surprisingly milder than I anticipated. I took no advil or tylenol, but I did drink a ridiculous amount of water from an hour before through 48 hours after my shot.
So, in list fashion, here’s what I recommend you do to minimize side effects from 24 hours before your shot to 48 hours after:
Drink 32oz of water an hour before your shot. It’s a lot of water, and you should probably use the bathroom before your shot; and you’ll probably need to use it again right after. And then slowly drink 32 ounces of “extra” water than your normally do each day, for the next 48 hours. But drink it very slowly as in, 32 oz over the course of an hour or two, so as not to dilute the natural electrolytes in your body and overload your kidneys. Listen to your body, though. Drinking too much water can lead to hyponatremia, so just listen to your body. If you feel like your forcing yourself, stop. Take-in extra salted nuts to keep your sodium in-check. Being well-hydrated is probably the most important thing you can do.
Get 8-9 hours of sleep the day of your shot, and the next 2 consecutive nights. Harder to do if you have little kids, but maybe your partner can help?
Eat plant-based, with extra fresh fruits and vegetables, with extra emphasis on fruits with a higher concentration of vitamin-c (kiwis, oranges, grapefruits)
Take Vitamin D & C
Increase your vitamin-D through supplements or fortified milks. Vitamin-D and vitamin C is integral to the immune system. Vitamin-C is easy to get, but we are often deficient in Vitamin D, so do make sure your getting the daily recommended amount on that one.
Eat very light meals (salads, oatmeal, vegetables, fruits). No processed foods or junk. Everything you consume should be high quality.
This probably goes without saying but I’ll say it: don’t drink any alcohol!
Skip the Gym
Skip exercise during this period. Or, if you must, do something very light. I have often found that if I ever feel like I’m about to have a cold and I exercise the day before, I am almost sure the cold will get worse the next day. I think when your immune system is activated, it’s best to keep all external stressors you can control on the body to a bare minimum.