No one likes being sick, especially during cold and flu season where it seems like everyone around you is sniffling, sneezing, and coughing. These discomforts may seem minor at first, but can quickly add up to you stuck on the couch surrounded by tissues and a steamy humidifier.
Though there isn't a cure for the flu or common cold, you can naturally combat and prevent these conditions by drinking enough water. Water helps cleanse your body of germs, viruses, and other toxins that can bog your immune system down, while also keeping you hydrated. Even everyday issues like headaches, soreness, exhaustion, and other pesky conditions can be avoided by drinking enough water.
A common suggestion that most people try to follow is drinking at least eight glasses of water a day to help boost your immune system and keep you healthy. Those who drink less than this recommended amount greatly increase their chances of getting a stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, and the flu.
Research has found that people who drank just three glasses of water per day were fives times more likely to get a sore throat or stuffy nose, than those who drank the full eight. Additionally, those who drank less than three glasses were four times more likely to get the flu.
Along with keeping your immune system strong and body hydrated, water also provides your body with more benefits. It flushes out the harmful toxins in your body and prevents them from building up. Water also oxygenates your blood and helps you digest your food, maintaining your body's energy and performance.
Drinking water prevents common chronic illnesses, which is why it's so beneficial to fight off getting the flu, cold, or other illness. Staying hydrated also keep your organs like your eyes and mouth moist, which helps repel any impurities that could cause infections.
This moisture is especially important for the inside of your nose, which traps dirt, pollutants, and other bacteria, preventing it from reaching your lungs. When you become dehydrated, the mucous membrane in your nose will dry out and isn't as effective at trapping dust and other contaminants.
Though water plays an important role in preventing illness, it also can help you while you are sick! It's common to lose more fluids when you are sick, especially if you are sweating or suffering from a fever. You'll want to make sure you are replenishing your body's liquids by drinking water.
For head and chest colds, water helps break down your secretions, so they don't thicken in your upper and lower respiratory systems. Water keeps these passages and airways clear so you can breathe easily and not feel as stuffed up. If you don't stay hydrated while ill then your body could suffer even more. Make sure that you are continually replacing fluids so that you avoid dehydration and a trip to the hospital or doctor's office.
To keep hydrated while sick you can also drink tea. A cup of hot tea can help soothe a sore throat, loosen congestion, and alleviate upset stomachs. Try to drink decaffeinated tea since caffeine can dehydrate you. Ginger tea is perfect for nausea, while chamomile can also help soothe an upset stomach. For a cold, try peppermint or verbena teas, which will keep you hydrated and feel fresh. You can also try adding a spoonful of honey and some lemon to hot water, which will help support your immune system while it's down.
So the next time you reach for a glass of soda or fruit juice, you might want to opt for water instead. Water is an organic way to help boost your body's immune system and keep you healthy. Drinking the suggested eight glasses of water a day can help prevent you from getting the flu or common cold by fighting off those pesky viruses and keeping you hydrated.