As if the cold, dreary weather wasn’t enough to bum us out, the flu virus is a special breed of awful. Flu infections can have unpleasant symptoms such as aches, chills, and horrible headaches, meaning those infected are pretty much down for the count.
There’s only so much you can do to fight the dreadful symptoms. Some of the smartest tactics are to rest, prepare lots of blankets and damp washcloths to combat raging fevers, and drink clear liquids. Staying hydrated when you have the flu is key, since your body needs to rehydrate from losing lots of fluids. When you’re feeling that sick, you need to give your overworked stomach and intestines a break — clear liquids help ease discomfort and give them the rest they need.
When you hydrate, make sure to take small, frequent sips every 10 to 15 minutes. Drinking too much water at once may cause vomiting — so don’t rush it. If you are vomiting for a long period of time, try to drink something other than water to replenish the vitamins and nutrients you’ve lost.
Avoid liquids that are acidic (such as orange juice) or caffeinated (such as coffee), or anything that has a lot of carbonation.
In addition to these immune-boosting foods you should eat during the flu season, these drinks could help you to get better faster.
According to a 2003 study, black tea is a real immunity booster. The scientists found that it increased the intensity of one immune response by up to five times. So if you don't regularly drink tea, you germophobes should get on it. Thanks to black tea’s abundance of theanine, flavonoids (antioxidant-like compounds), and catechins (compounds that fight free radicals in the body), it’s been proven to help fight off the flu.
Your grandma was onto something. Chicken broth may be your best weapon against the cold and the flu (though, the illnesses themselves have some very clear differences). Vitamins and protein? Check. Hydration? Check. Anti-inflammatory properties? Check. Congestion-fighting properties? Check. Many studies have confirmed the various healing properties of a cozy bowl of chicken soup — it clears your nasal passageways, reduces uncomfortable symptoms, and has exactly the nutrients your body needs to fight off this pesky flu virus.
Many people will reach for a can of ginger ale when flu symptoms start, and this spice is the reason why. While the carbonation from ginger ale might not help your stomach upset, ginger tea can help to soothe and relieve your distress. Ginger tea has been part of Chinese herbal medicine for more than 2,000 years to relieve digestion problems and nausea. Ginger’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties can also help to relieve aches and pains that come with the flu.
They’re not technically drinks, but these are your best defense against dehydration and fever. Eating ice pops, or ice cubes if you don’t happen to have stocked up on summer’s best treat, is a great way to hydrate slowly and consistently without ingesting too much water at once. WebMD advises consumers to look for ice pops made with 100 percent fruit juices to get a 2-in-1 fight against the flu — hydration plus vitamins.
To make this healing tonic, simply heat up some water, squeeze in some lemon, and add honey. This beverage will help keep you hydrated while giving you a jolt of vitamin C for immunity.
You can load up on all the fruity beverages and tea you want — but you’ll still need water to stay truly hydrated. Mix in a few electrolyte-rich beverages between glasses to really ramp up your water absorption and brush up on these telltale signs of dehydration to know when you’re not drinking enough.
Drinking too much alcohol is ill-advised when you’re feeling sick — not only might you feel even more nauseous, but you could become dangerously dehydrated. However, according to one study, just one glass could help give your body important nutrients to prevent complications from influenza infection. The same compound is found in both blackberries and black tea, both of which might be a wiser choice. Now that you know which drinks are best for you during flu season, consider using your day spent at home cooking a few immune-boosting recipes that could help get you through.
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