Drinking fluids might quench your thirst during a cold, but it won't help beat your cold

If you catch a cold, what do you do?

Say it with me: “Drink plenty of fluids.”

Funny thing, though. There appears to be no scientific evidence that drinking water and other fluids helps you beat a cold.

Researchers at Australia’s University of Queensland searched for studies, looked for references in relevant papers, and even consulted with experts on respiratory infections.

And they found…nada.

They finally concluded that that over the past 40 years there have been no studies that specifically addressed fluid intake as a method for reducing infection.

Of course, drinking beverages provides comfort when you’re parched or when you’ve become dehydrated due to fever. And beverages may also help loosen mucus. But drink as much as you want, there’s no evidence the infection will end any sooner.

I’ve got one or two friends who use the “drink fluids” maxim as an excuse to move happy hour up earlier in the day when they have a cold.

I’m pretty sure this new study won’t change their “hydrating” habits one bit.

“The Claim: Drink Plenty of Fluids to Beat a Cold” Anahad O’Connor, New York Times, 1/10/11, nytimes.com

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