Drinking Water to Fight Off Fevers, Coughs, and Cold: Does It Work?
(Updated March 24th, 2019)
Listen. Catching a cold or flu is no fun. The sniffling, sneezing, and coughing can be very discomforting for you and the people around you. Not to mention the lack of appetite, the severe dehydration, the pounding headaches, the congestion, the sore throat, the stuffy or runny nose…It’s like your body is slowly shutting down.
If you happen to come down with any of these illnesses, the first thing you’ll often hear is to drink plenty of fluids. This supposed homemade remedy is said to help you recover much faster, ease your symptoms, and keep your body fully hydrated. But after countless trips to the bathroom, you may start to wonder if drinking all this H2O is helping.
Here’s the raw truth: When people have a cold or the flu, they lose more fluids than normal. Therefore, they get dehydrated much quicker, especially if they also have a high fever or experience vomiting, heavy sweating, or diarrhea when they’re sick. Because these illnesses draw moisture out of the body, they are more likely to get worse as certain functions and systems in the body cannot operate as effectively.
So, what can you do to prevent all that? Well, some people believe that consuming a steady amount of clean drinking water can prevent dehydration and reduce the severity of fevers, coughs, and colds by boosting your immune system.
But let’s take a closer look at this claim and figure out if and how water can help keep you hydrated so your body can fight off colds, fevers, and coughs.
Why is it important to keep up your fluid intake when you have a cold or the flu?
Drinking plenty of fluids is one of the most effective and organic ways to ward off a cold or flu. As we mentioned earlier, cold and flu symptoms like runny noses and sweating, which often accompanies a fever, increase the amount of water that the body expels. As such, dehydration might occur if your fluid intake is not increased to compensate for the loss.
According to David B. Banach, Head of Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiologist at the University of Connecticut, “One of the main reasons why patients get admitted to the hospital in the setting of a flu or a virus infection is for dehydration.” Considering that statement, it’s safe to say that drinking a good amount of fluids is important for ensuring a speedy recovery from those illnesses and ease the burden of the symptoms.
Here are several different ways that drinking water and staying hydrated in this cold and flu season will help you avoid or overcome a cold and flu:
- Drinking lots of clean water when you’re sick with a cold or flu can help loosen the mucus in your nasal cavity and relieve congestion.
- Water oxygenates your blood and flushes out harmful impurities and toxins from the body and ensures that it can function properly and defend itself against cold and flu viruses. This means that your body’s systems, including the immune system, your muscles, and organs, will function more adequately. Without enough water, the toxins will build up in your body and weaken your immune system.
- Drinking adequate amounts of water can help you digest your food better.
- It can also help your eyes and mouth retain moisture and repel germs that can cause infections. If you don’t drink enough water when you’re sick, you could become constipated and even develop more severe digestive problems.
- Staying hydrated also helps your body produce lymph, which helps circulate white blood cells and nutrients to all the tissues in the body, carries water and nutrients to the blood and through the blood to the cells. It also removes toxins from the blood.
Water in other forms like healthy juices, ginger ale, herbal tea, honey and lemon tea and ginger tea are also acceptable. But it’s best to stick to pure water since it helps to lubricate the mucous membranes of the throat. You can also try out hot drinks as the hot steam they produce can relieve congestion.
How to prevent dehydration before and during this upcoming cold and flu season
The importance of water to our health and bodies go without saying. So, we must be mindful of any imbalances, especially in this cold and flu season. There’s no magic formula to achieving this, though – it’s just a matter of drinking the right amount of water to stay hydrated and keep your whole body operating at its best. For your body to fight infection, it needs adequate water. Some health experts suggest that you drink enough water to make your urine clear. Even though there’s no one-size-fits-all, it’s ideal to shoot for 6 to 8 eight-ounce glasses of water each day. And please, try to skip sodas, coffee or sugary juices, as they can dehydrate your body.
In addition to keeping yourself hydrated, make sure to help keep your kids and pets hydrated as well. Send them to school with a reusable bottle filled with clean fresh water and make sure that your pet bowls are also filled with clean water every day.
But since not all tap water is safe, how do you make sure that your family gets the safest water possible this flu season? It makes no sense to hydrate your body with water that may contain contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, industrial chemicals, pesticides, metals, pharmaceuticals, protozoans, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radiological contaminants such as plutonium and uranium and even sewer overflows and wastewater. You’d be rushing to the doctor for more than just a cold or the flu, that’s for sure.
A whole house water filter can help you avoid all those difficult situations by removing toxic pollutants from your water that could otherwise make your and your family sick. Springwell Water Systems is known for its unique line of affordable, compact and easy-to-use whole house water filter systems. These systems can remove 95 to 99 percent of contaminants from water, making it safe for you and your family to use. Also, our systems are easy to install and don’t require a lot of maintenance, if any at all. They are also NSF-certified, so you can be sure that you’re getting the real deal. To top it all off, our systems are built with some of the latest and most advanced technologies to produce the best results.
If you’re asking if water decreases your chances of catching a cold or the flu, the simple answer is yes! Drinking clean water and staying hydrated is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to stay healthy during the cold and flu season.