Does cold water worsen a flu attack?


Dear Doctor,

My friends always tell me not to take cold drinks when I have a cold. How are these two related? I thought drinking a lot of fluids, whether hot or cold was a good move in treating flu. Aline

Dear Aline,

There are many benefits of drinking hot water. Hot water is more akin to and more useful to body physiology. It stimulates the body’s metabolism causing increased blood flow to various body parts. Hence these parts are activated and their functioning is enhanced. It improves vitality of body and prevents premature aging. It removes toxic substances of the body by stimulating the kidneys. It activates the bowel, thus helping in removal of waste products from the body. In cold and cough, it helps to clear the phlegm and also reduce local inflammation. Considering these benefits, many people drink hot water first thing in morning. Many drink hot water throughout the day, of course, hot means luke warm, which is tolerable.

In contrast, cold water or any cold drink disturbs the body physiology because the temperature is lower than body and body fluids. It makes circulation sluggish and has no role in removing toxins or waste material from the body.It has no beneficial effect in cold or cough. In fact it can irritate the throat, aggravating cough or cold. Hence it is advisable to avoid cold water in case of flu.