You woke up stuffy, sneezy, and coughing. After dragging your feet to the refrigerator and searching for some citrus salvation, you pour yourself a glass of OJ with high hopes of defeating your cold. You may even have plans of making chicken noodle soup and abusing a pack of NyQuil. Your plan may work but it could take over 7 days to defeat your cold. I’ll give you several tips on how to defeat your cold even faster!
1. Get your Vitamin C from better sources.
Vitamin C is more of a preventative weapon when it comes to the common cold (as in consuming it while you’re already sick may not be a huge help), but you should still supply your body with this immune system boosting nutrient. Oranges aren’t your best source, believe it or not.This doesn’t mean you can’t drink orange juice and emergen-C, but there are whole sources out there that are even higher in Vitamin C than oranges. 1 serving of mini bell peppers packs in 270% of your DV of Vitamin C.
2. Drink extra hot fluids.
Tea, coffee, soup, it’s all good! The purpose of the hot fluids is to help thin the mucus which your body is producing to trap the bug that’s in your system. Drinking hot fluids will alleviate the hacking, stuffiness, and discomfort associated with mucus build up. You can also look into medicine like Mucinex, Nyquil, Cold Ez, etc., but I tend to take a whole-foods approach to conquering illness.
3. Hold off on intense exercise.
This is highly debated concept and a lot of weight lifters will scoff at people who stop lifting for a few days when they have a cold, but I let science dictate my approach. If your body has to focus its energy and nutrients to regenerating muscle tissue, then it can’t focus on killing the virus in your system. Give yourself 1-2+ days off when you feel a cold blossoming and give your body nutrients and rest.
4. Drink lots of water.
Staying hydrated is critically important when fighting a cold. The hot fluids will help thin the extra mucus your body is producing for a while but drinking water consistently will help keep that mucus thin and will help mobilize it.
5. Salt Water Gargle.
This is mostly effective for sore throats, especially if you have post-nasal drip. If it feels like I’m swallowing glass all day (and night) I’ll be absolutely miserable.Considering this is my least favorite cold symptom, I thought it was important to include a tip on how to defeat this symptom. Fill a glass up with 4-6 oz of warm water, mix in 1-2 tsp. of salt, and gargle the mixture over and over until it’s all gone. The salt draws out the “gunk” that’s dried up on your throat causing inflammation and pain. Afterward, you can gargle some mouthwash to kill any bacteria. It will also provide a cooling effect on the throat but the salt water gargle is really what helps the most so don’t skip that!