Stories from Food and Nutrition

The 2 things you should *always* drink when you’re sick, according to a dietitian

Emily Laurence

Emily LaurenceNovember 12, 2019

Make the most out of your next sick day with these foods that do the most for your immune system.

Literally no one likes sitting next to someone who spends the majority of the workday battling a phlegm-y cough and a fever, but that doesn’t stop the majority of people from showing up at the office when they should be home in bed. Thankfully, there are plenty of immunity boosters that can fight off nasty bugs for you—no clearing the shelves in the Cold & Flu aisle at your local drugstore required.

In the latest episode of You Versus Food, registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD gives the lowdown on the foods and drinks that will work in your favor, even if everyone around you has the sniffles. If you’re already sick, her recs will get you back up and running in no time.

“If you’re making a lot of trips to the bathroom or suffering from a fever, chances are you’re losing a lot of fluids,” Beckerman says. “Drinking water will help, but you may continue to feel dehydrated until your electrolytes are fully replenished.” This is why Beckerman recommends sipping coconut water when you’re feeling under the weather; it has more electrolytes than regular H2O. Think of it as nature’s Pedialyte.

Beckerman also recommends keeping hot tea on hand when you’re sick. “The warm water and steam are able to loosen up sinus blockages,” Beckerman says, adding that green tea in particular has been linked to supporting the immune system. Whatever type of tea you steep, her pro RD tip is to add honey, which she says has long been studied as an antibacterial food.

Besides these drinks, Beckerman highlights foods that protect against germs, too. Watch the episode above for her full immunity-boosting list. Thank you, next, cold season.

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