Fluids are essential to supporting your immune system. Here's why the best natural cold remedies might actually come from your drinking glass.
The flu is a nasty virus that circulates across the United States every year. On average, over 700,000 individuals are hospitalized and up to 49,000 are killed from influenza in a single year.
These statistics are scary but provide overwhelming proof of why we need to take natural cold remedies and flu prevention into consideration when outbreaks occur.
In this article, we're going to look at the importance of fluid intake, which types of fluids are good for consumption, and those you should avoid.
Why You Need More Fluid Intake
Fluid intake is crucial on a daily basis but even more so when you're ill. The amount of fluid your body loses over the course of a cold or flu is much greater than an average day's loss.
This is due to a variety of symptoms including sweating when you have a fever and the liquid coming from a runny nose. Your fluid levels are also affected by lack of appetite and a general avoidance of fluids or food when you are sick.
This loss in body fluid causes severe dehydration which can prolong the symptoms of your sickness. Drinking fluids to replenish what you've lost is important if you want to recover quickly.
Fluids improve the body's functions so it has the appropriate defense system against viruses. They also alleviate symptoms of illness like congestion and mucus build-up.
How Much is Recommended
What is the recommended amount of fluid to consume each day?
You need to aim for 8 glasses of healthy fluids.
You can overdo it though. Drinking too much water rids your body of essential sodium in your blood.
If you are pregnant, you'll need to drink 10 glasses of healthy fluids. Babies should drink about 30-60mL an hour while children over a year old should drink 90-120mL an hour.
These are general guidelines. If you have other health issues, always refer to your primary care physician to find out how much fluid is appropriate for you to consume.
Natural Cold Remedies
If you've had a cold or the flu for several days now, drinking healthy fluids is one of the best natural cold remedies. It can help to alleviate symptoms and get your body functioning like a well-oiled machine.
Not all fluids are healthy or best for consumption when you're feeling sick. Let's take a look at the best and the worst drinks.
Types of Drinks You Should Have
Drinking water is one of the best things you can drink when you're sick. Just drinking water, however, does not work to replace lost electrolytes.
You can opt to drink water with lemon since it is full of Vitamin C. It can be consumed hot or cold and has the possibility of eliminating or reducing a stuffy nose and congestion.
Drinks that work to replenish your electrolytes can be paired with water but sports drinks, such as Gatorade, are not recommended as they are full of sugar.
There's something about drinking a warm cup of tea when you're sick. It works well as one of the most natural cold remedies by alleviating congestion. The heat from tea can make a sore throat bearable, calm your stomach, and soothe a stuffy nose.
You have a wide variety of teas to choose from depending on the symptoms you're experiencing. Green tea works as a natural antioxidant and aids in fighting off colds.
Other herbal teas have different functions. Ginger, for instance, helps to boost your immune system and lavender helps to calm your body.
Make sure you're only drinking decaf tea if you're at home trying to sleep off any illness. If you start drinking caffeinated tea, you'll have a hard time resting.
Drinking fruit juice is one of the most well-known natural cold remedies. Not only does juice provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it's a great way to get nutrients even if you've lost your appetite.
Make sure the juice you're getting is an all natural fruit juice and not a fruit juice cocktail. Fruit juice cocktails are loaded with sugar and could actually do more harm than good.
Juices like orange juice or vegetable juice provide you with vitamins, potassium and can restore your electrolytes.
Broth or Soup
Drinking warm broth is a great way to relieve congestion, reduce your inflammation and supply your body with important nutrients it needs.
There are a variety of broths to choose from and you can get them in a low sodium version to prevent dehydration.
Types of Drinks You Should Avoid
As you can see, there are quite a few fluids out there that will help get you back on your feet when you're not feeling good. But, there are a few beverages that don't help, even if your mother or grandmother swore by it.
The first of these that is one of the not so great natural cold remedies is soda.
Soda, like Ginger Ale or 7-Up, may not seem that bad as the carbonation calms your stomach. But, these beverages are filled with sugar and don't offer any nutritional value for someone who is sick.
If you love the carbonation, you can always opt for sparkling water with natural flavoring instead.
Against popular belief, alcohol will not get rid of your cold when you're sick. It can be one of the most detrimental natural cold remedies around.
It strips your body of its ability to fight infections and severely dehydrates you. It also encourages headaches, body aches, and nausea.
Drinking a beverage with caffeine will work against you if you're trying to sleep off your sickness. Not only that, but it will dehydrate you, making you lose even more of the fluid you're trying to replace.
Dairy in itself is not bad for a cold or the flu even though it's believed to increase congestion. But, eating ice cream or drinking shakes when your sick doesn't do your body any good. The high level of sugar and fat will work against you.
Drink To Improve Your Body
There are a lot of natural cold remedies out there but you can get to feeling better with beverages alone.
If you're interested in learning some healthy beverage recipes, check out our recent blog post today.