The best drinks for a common cold
When you’ve got a cold or flu, what you eat and drink are so important in determining how severe your symptoms are! Plus, during this time your body needs as many nutrients as it can get, as well as lots of energy. You might know the best foods to eat for a cold, but have you thought about what you should be drinking?
Here are my favourite drinks for a common cold:
1. Echinaforce Hot Drink
Unlike many cold and flu drinks, our own Hot Drink is free from paracetamol, so it’s safe to take with other cold remedies or pain killers. With fresh extracts of Echinacea, this tasty hot drink helps to relieve the symptoms of your cold whilst also providing the comfort of a warm drink.
Echinacea is one of our best-loved and most-researched herbs and its efficiency is widely celebrated. It can both relieve the symptoms of a cold and flu, whilst also strengthening the immune system to help fight the infection.
2. Honey & Lemon
This classic drink is one of the most popular natural remedies for colds and flu, and for good reason! Honey is naturally antibacterial and antiviral, and it leaves a soothing coat on the back of the throat, so it’s great if your symptoms include a sore throat or cough. The refreshing aroma of the lemon can also be really good for clearing congestion.
Smoothies are packed full of vitamins and minerals, which is great if you’re under the weather. Including lots of citrus fruits and berries will ensure your smoothie is packed full of immune-boosting vitamin C, and the mix of vitamins and minerals will help to nourish the whole body.
Your nutrient levels can quickly deplete while you’re unwell, especially if you’ve lost your appetite and aren’t eating very well, or if symptoms like a sore throat mean you are struggling to eat anything.
To give your smoothie an extra boost, add a sachet of Balance Mineral Drink. Balance Drink contains magnesium, potassium, calcium, immune-boosting zinc and vitamin D, so it's a great way to make sure your smoothie is a rich source of minerals too.
As well as replacing lost nutrients, Balance Drink can help to reduce fatigue and boost energy, which will likely be very welcome if you’re feeling under the weather.
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4. Green tea & herbal tea
Green tea is packed full of antioxidants and nutrients to give your body an extra boost, and depending on which herbal tea you choose, this could have a similar effect. Choosing a tea that contains Echinacea can help to boost your immune system, whilst a tea that contains rosehip will likely be rich in vitamin C.
While these two drinks are beneficial, some of their benefit comes from the fact that they are a good alternative to regular tea. Regular tea contains lots of caffeine which will add an extra stress to your body that you really don’t need right now, so swap it for a healthier option!
If you're looking for some tasty and beneficial herbal teas, have a look at my blog 'What herbal tea is good for a cold' where I talk about a few herbal teas and why these are particular drinks are beneficial.
I know that this might seem like a boring or obvious one, but water is so important if you’ve got a cold or flu that I thought it would be best to mention it again.
Water keeps your whole body hydrated, which will help to keep the mucus in your nose thinner, meaning that it can flow more easily out of the nose. Goodbye blocked noses and congestion!
If you’ve got symptoms such as a fever, sweating or vomiting, then you may quickly become dehydrated. This isn’t good for you at the best of times, but if you’ve got a cold or flu it can certainly make congestion worse and exacerbate symptoms such as a headache.
Plus, drinking water regularly throughout the day will stop your throat from becoming dry, which will help to reduce a sore throat as well as a dry, tickly cough.
For some advice on how to top up your water intake throughout the day, take a look at this blog by our Nutritionist Emma Thornton – '12 tips to help you drink more water'.
What shouldn't you drink?
As I mentioned, you should really steer clear of tea due to its high caffeine content. Coffee should be avoided for this reason too but fortunately there are plenty of caffeine free options you could try such as Bambu.
I would definitely recommend avoiding anything milky as dairy products are infamous for worsening congestion so it won’t do that blocked nose any favours. While a warm glass of milk or a tasty hot chocolate might be comforting, it won’t do you any good in the long run. Hot chocolate also often contains lots of sugar, which will not be good for your struggling system!
Avoiding alcohol is a good idea too, as alcohol consumption can leave immune cells confused and disorientated. Alcohol can also quickly dehydrate you and deplete vital nutrients, so it isn’t a great idea when your body is already trying to fight off invading pathogens!