You keep your pockets filled with mini bottles of hand sanitizer, you wash your hands religiously, and you make it a point to stay away from those with runny noses, yet you still catch the seasonal cold. Dietician Sheela Prakash tells us, "It's a common misconception that you can catch a cold from not bundling up as the weather gets colder. The truth is that colds are simply caused by viruses. When it’s cold outside, these viruses tend to spread more easily because people are spending more time indoors, with much less ventilation, passing germs to each other." While we may not be able to tell you exactly why you still catch that obnoxious cold that keeps you up at night with congestion and coughing, we can help you curb the symptoms.
When it comes to cold remedies, many people swear by chicken soup, but who has the time, or the energy, to sit by a stove and make an entire meal when they're sick? So we talked to two doctors, a nutritionist, and a registered dietician to find out the best drinks to try when you've come down with a cold. Doctors and nutritionists alike reminded us that there really isn't a single drink that will cure your cold, but symptoms can be dramatically curbed if you use the right elixir.
Water was a common recommendation, as well as naturally squeezed juices high in vitamin C like orange and grapefruit. The thing to remember about juice, though, is to avoid processed juices that are full of sugar. If you’re a fan of juicing, try combining your favorite citrus fruits for a mixture that's bound to aid in curbing the common cold. Another favorite was the water enhancer Emergen-C. This little wonder packet comes in a variety of different formulas that will help either boost your immune system if you feel a cold coming on, or help to fight a cold when it’s already arrived with a high dose of vitamin C. Another favorite that registered dietician Sheela Prakash swears by is ginger. She tells us, "Ginger contains chemicals that can help alleviate cold symptoms." Doctor Marian Greenberg says, "Hot liquids in general help mobilize secretions, and all liquids are good because everyone feels worse when dehydrated, and you don't realize how dehydrated you become with a cold — mouth breathing, cough, fever, etc., all contribute to dehydration."
Drinks that are easily accessible have become the go-to way to curb cold symptoms. From Emergen-C all the way to ginger juice, these drinks will help to alleviate the negative effects of a cold. We can’t guarantee you’ll be up and running a half-marathon, but these nine drinks will certainly have you feeling a little better after a few doses.
This article was originally published on September 9, 2013.