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Why is it important to drink liquids when you're sick?

ANSWER

When you're sick, it's easy to get dehydrated. A sore throat can make it less than fun to swallow.

A fever draws moisture out of your body. Plus, you lose fluid as your body makes mucus and it drains away. And that over-the-counter cold medicine you're taking to dry up your head can dry the rest of you out, too.

So drink plenty of water, juice, or soup. All that liquid helps loosen up the mucus in your nose and head. Stay away from booze, coffee, and caffeine when you're looking for things to sip, though. They pull out more liquid than they leave behind.

SOURCES:

UpToDate: “Patient information: The common cold in adults (Beyond the Basics).”

Cohen, S. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: “Cold Facts.”

Mayo Clinic: “Dehydration: Risk Factors.”

FamilyDoctor.org: “Colds and the Flu/Treatment.”

University of Rochester: “Common Cold -- Self Care.”

Mayo Clinic: “Cold remedies: What works, what doesn't, what can't hurt.

American Psychological Association: “Stress Weakens the Immune System.”

Carnegie Mellon University: “Stress on Disease.”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Cold vs. Allergy: How Do I Know the Difference?”

Brown University: “Health Promotion: Colds.”

NIH: “Three Studies Find Echinacea Ineffective Against the Common Cold.”

UpToDate: “The Common Cold in Adults: Treatment and Prevention.”

UpToDate: “Clinical Use of Echinacea.”

American College of Sports Medicine: “Exercise and the Common Cold.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on November 16, 2017

SOURCES:

UpToDate: “Patient information: The common cold in adults (Beyond the Basics).”

Cohen, S. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: “Cold Facts.”

Mayo Clinic: “Dehydration: Risk Factors.”

FamilyDoctor.org: “Colds and the Flu/Treatment.”

University of Rochester: “Common Cold -- Self Care.”

Mayo Clinic: “Cold remedies: What works, what doesn't, what can't hurt.

American Psychological Association: “Stress Weakens the Immune System.”

Carnegie Mellon University: “Stress on Disease.”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Cold vs. Allergy: How Do I Know the Difference?”

Brown University: “Health Promotion: Colds.”

NIH: “Three Studies Find Echinacea Ineffective Against the Common Cold.”

UpToDate: “The Common Cold in Adults: Treatment and Prevention.”

UpToDate: “Clinical Use of Echinacea.”

American College of Sports Medicine: “Exercise and the Common Cold.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on November 16, 2017

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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