What To Drink and Not Drink When Sick

It is not uncommon for people to feel like their mouth is dry when congested or under the weather, especially with a stuffy nose. The stopped up nasal passages force you to breathe through your mouth, increasing dryness in the lips, throat, and mouth. If you are suffering from additional digestion issues, dehydration becomes a serious threat. Unfortunately, too many people choose to drink the wrong things when ill, making the situation worse.

Unfortunately, too many people choose to drink the wrong things when ill, making the situation worse.
This blog post focuses on staying hydrated when you are sick, but the right way. You need to understand the good drinks to consume and why you should avoid others.

Woman sick in bed

Drinks To Stay Hydrated and Healthy

Healthy drinks provide the most benefit. These beverages will improve hydration without making digestive problems worse.


The crowning jewel of beverages is water. When you are ill, you should consume more water than anything else. You will also want to drink more than you typically would if suffering from diarrhea or vomiting.

Some people have a hard time drinking glass after glass of H2O; you can fancy it up a bit. For example, you can add a bit of honey or lemon. Honey can help soothe a sore throat, while lemon improves taste.

Water works well because it helps to rehydrate mucus membranes, and because it is sugar and caffeine-free, it is gentle on the digestive system. However, there are other options for those who cannot take too much water.

Glass of water


Like ginger, herbal, and green, teas can also soothe upset stomachs and give the immune system a boost. Green tea is high in immune-boosting antioxidants and virus killing catechins. Ginger is well known for soothing gastrointestinal discomfort. And herbal remedies, like elderberry and echinacea, can soothe the throat and jumpstart the immune system because of varying plant compounds.

Cup of tea

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Broth, and more specifically, bone broth, is the traditional solution to treating upper respiratory infections. There is some truth to the ritual as several studies corroborate broths' ability to help clear nasal passages and ease other respiratory infection symptoms. Additionally, bone broth is a source of protein for those who struggle to keep food down.

Cups of Broth

Drinks To Avoid

While there are drinks to help you feel better and keep you hydrated, some drinks will also do the opposite. If you are ill, it is in your best interest to avoid the following beverages.


While taking a swig of a hot or other alcoholic beverage may sound appealing for melting your troubles away, alcohol is one of the worst things you can drink. Not only can alcoholic drinks lead to inflammation, but they can also suppress your immune system response, meaning that indulging when your ill may prolong the sickness.

Glass of wine

Soda and Sugary Beverages

Many people want ginger ale or juice when they are sick, but these drinks may contain high levels of sugar. Drinking too many sugary beverages can lead to increased blood sugar levels and a decrease in energy. These drinks can also cause gastrointestinal distress.

Glass of Soda


While people may want to drink coffee because it is warm when they are sick, it is not a good idea. Coffee contains high caffeine levels, which has a diuretic effect, meaning it makes you pee more frequently. If you avoid water and drink coffee, you can make dehydration issues worse.

Cup of Coffee

What is your go-to drink when you're sick? Leave a comment, and keep reading The Calorie Myths for more helpful tips and advice.

3 Replies to “What To Drink and Not Drink When Sick”

  1. What caught my attention was your ‘stop counting and start living.’ It is the most sound tag I have heard in a long while. While weight management programmes still count calories alone, and people fail constantly and end up in bariatric surgery. I could not count calories as I am a visual dyslexic and ended up loosing weight through a low card lifestyle almost immediately.

    I also love the really sound advice for hydration here!

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