The Best Food and Drinks for a Cold 2023

Coach Smith

Being sick really sucks. I know this from experience. In fact, I’m fighting bronchitis and a fever as I write this. It’s not cool. Like if you are one of them that don’t get easily sick. In fact, I like to brag to my wife frequently about how I never get sick. So maybe this is karma catching up with me. But more likely, it was the weekend I spent in Chicago with my family for my cousin’s wedding. Travel mixed with drinking mixed with lack of sleep is a recipe for a cold in my world.

Best Food when you are sick

I have come up with an awesome list of the best foods to eat and drinks to drink when you have a cold. As a disclaimer, I’m not a doctor. This list is largely based on my own experience. But before you go writing this off, my experience and knowledge in the healthy food sector is fairly substantial (not to toot my own horn or anything:). And to ensure this list wasn’t completely subjective, I talked to several doctors about foods and drinks they recommend for a cold. Plus I did a good amount of online research to find actual studies that support my claims.  I’m pleased to present you with the results:

Best Foods for a Cold

1. Chicken soup: Soup, and chicken soup in particular, helps ease inflamed sinuses and makes you feel better when you’re sick. This isn’t just a myth or my observation either … it’s supported by research. I recommend making your own instead of relying on the processed, canned stuff like Campbell’s. You can pack a lot more nutrition and disease-fighting veggies into your own version.You won’t be disappointed.

2. Honey: Honey can help ease coughing and help you sleep better. Just ask James M. Steckelberg, M.D. from The Mayo Clinic. Mix some in with your green tea (see below) or down a teaspoon before bed.

3. Berries: Berries are awesome for you in general. I like to buy frozen blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and make smoothies with them … especially when I’m sick. I had a mixed berry smoothie this morning and felt better after drinking it. Blueberries, in particular, have the highest antioxidant level of any fruit, which means they may help you fight off a cold faster.

4. Apples: Ok, so this one’s more of a preventative measure, but eating an apple a day actually can keep the doctor away after all. Researchers at Ohio State University found that a compound in apples called polyphenols helped lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in study participants. A healthy heart means less risk of other diseases and a better chance of fighting off colds and other infections.

Best Drinks for a Cold 2023

What to drink when you are sick

You’ve probably heard your parents say “drink more fluids” when you’re sick. And guess what? They’re right. But not all fluids are created equal. Some people swear by sugar-laded sodas like Coke, Sprite, Ginger Ale, 7-up, etc. But there’s absolutely no research to support this. And, three Cokes will set you back over 500 calories and over three day’s worth of added sugar. People who say drink a soda and your cold will be gone, do not listen to those people. That’s ridiculous nonsense. Talk to anyone who knows anything about health and nutrition and they’ll tell you the same thing.

Here are the best drinks for a cold:

1. Green tea: 

Green tea is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. Plus the hot liquid helps break up congestion, clear your sinuses, and ease sore throats and coughs. Green tea can also help prevent the flu, says a research study. When I get sick, the first thing I do is start pounding green tea all day long. Add a bit of honey to it and squeeze some lemon in your tea for an extra kick of vitamin C.

2. Water: 

You know you need to stay hydrated when you’re sick, and plain ‘ole water is a great way to do this. Drinking water can help flush out the bad stuff from your system, so your cold doesn’t last as long. When I’m sick, I drink close to a gallon of liquid a day … no joke. This is mainly water, green tea, and smoothies … which leads us to the next drink on this list.

3. Smoothies: Drinking a healthy smoothie made from fresh fruits and vegetables is good for two reasons: it helps hydrate you and gives you a healthy dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Check out my Healthy Vitamix Recipes page for inspiration.

More Cold Fighting Tips

1. Rest, rest, rest. Listen to your body. If you feel tired and fatigued, it’s your body’s way of telling you that you need to give it a break. I know that it’s tough to stay home from work when you’re super busy, but your health is more important than your work deadline. Tell a friend to do it for you then yo can return the favor later.

2. Stretch. Stretching is a great way to loosen up tight muscles when you’re sick. Rest is essential, but when you sit for long periods of time it can slow circulation. Stretching can help open up airways, warm up your muscles, and increase circulation. Do some light stretches a few times each day when you have a cold. It works.

3. Get a humidifier. Humidifiers add water and moisture to the air you breathe, which means less coughing and congestion for you. Set one up in your bedroom and turn in on when you sleep. Check out this list of bestselling humidifiers on Amazon if you’re looking for a good one.

4. Gargle salt water. Gargling salt water can help relieve a sore throat, according to doctors at The Mayo Clinic. Add 1/2 tsp. of salt to 8 ounces of water, mix together, and gargle. Repeat 3-4 times throughout the day. Your throat will thank you.

Think Positive

This one may sound stupid but hear me out. Your mind has amazing abilities beyond which science can explain. The body responds to that which you convince your mind to be true. Now don’t get me wrong–I know being sick is a physical ailment that takes time for your body to heal.

But the more positive you think and the more you firmly believe that you’re getting better, the less time you’ll have to suffer through your cold. Try repeating a few affirmations while taking deep, relaxed breaths, like, “I am in perfect health” or “My body is healing itself”. Really focus on the areas you want to heal, and visualize the cells in your body healing itself.

Destroy Your Cold with this Recipe

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