Does Drinking Water Help Colds?
Cold and flu season is upon us, and we are constantly looking for ways to prevent and treat these pesky illnesses. Among the various home remedies and over-the-counter medications, there is one remedy that is always recommended – drinking water. But does it really help with colds or is it just an old wives’ tale? Let’s explore the topic in detail to see if drinking water can actually help with colds.
The Importance of Staying Hydrated
First and foremost, it is essential to understand the importance of staying hydrated for overall health and wellness. Our body is made up of about 60% water, and it plays a crucial role in our bodily functions. Water helps regulate body temperature, aids in digestion, transports nutrients to cells, and carries waste products out of the body. Without enough water, our body cannot function properly, and it can lead to various health issues.
How Does Drinking Water Help with Colds?
Now, let’s address the main question – does drinking water help colds? The answer is yes, staying hydrated can help with colds. In fact, drinking plenty of water is one of the simplest and most effective ways to help your body fight off cold and flu viruses. Here’s why:
Flushes Out Toxins
Water is essential for flushing out toxins from our body. When we are sick with a cold, our body produces more mucus to help flush out the virus. However, to do that, our body needs an adequate amount of water. Drinking water helps thin out the mucus, making it easier for the body to get rid of it. It also helps flush out the virus and other toxins from our body, making us feel better.
Keeps Nasal Passages Moist
When we have a cold, our nasal passages tend to get dry and uncomfortable. Drinking water can help keep them moist and prevent a build-up of mucus, making it easier to breathe. It also helps soothe a sore throat, another common symptom of colds.
Boosts Immune System
Staying hydrated is crucial for a strong immune system. Our immune system needs water to produce lymph, a fluid that carries white blood cells and other immune system cells throughout the body to fight off bacteria and viruses. When we are dehydrated, our immune system is weakened, making us more susceptible to getting sick.
How Much Water Should You Drink When You Have a Cold?
It is recommended to drink at least 8 glasses (64 ounces) of water a day to stay hydrated. However, when you have a cold, you may need to increase your water intake. If you have a fever, diarrhea, or are vomiting, your body is losing fluids, and you need to replenish them. You may also feel more thirsty when you have a cold, so it is important to listen to your body and drink enough water to satisfy your thirst.
Other Tips for Staying Hydrated When You Have a Cold
Aside from drinking water, here are some other tips that can help you stay hydrated when you have a cold:
Drink Warm Beverages
Hot tea, herbal teas, broth, and other warm beverages can not only soothe a sore throat but also help keep you hydrated. You can also inhale the steam from the warm beverage to help relieve congestion in your sinuses.
Consume Water-Rich Foods
Foods like watermelon, cucumber, celery, and soup are high in water content and can help keep you hydrated while also providing necessary nutrients to your body to help fight off the cold.
Avoid Dehydrating Drinks
When you have a cold, it is best to avoid drinks that can dehydrate you, such as coffee, alcohol, and sugary drinks. These drinks can rob your body of valuable fluids, making it harder for your body to fight off the virus.
Drinking water is not a cure for cold, but it can certainly help in easing the symptoms and speeding up the recovery process. However, it is important to note that if you have a severe cold or flu, it is always best to consult a medical professional for proper treatment. So, stay hydrated, eat nutrient-rich foods, and get plenty of rest to help your body fight off the cold virus.
This article is purely for informational purposes and is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking any medication.