Warm beverages are often recommended for respiratory illnesses like the flu or a cold.
Studies have shown hot drinks can temporarily ease symptoms such as runny eyes and sore throats. There’s also no doubt that holding a hot cup of tea in your hand can be soothing when you are fighting a virus.
There are several reasons why coffee is not a good option for a sick person.
Experts share their opinions on the subject of drinking coffee while sick.
Although coffee keeps you awake when sick, your body needs to rest.
The stimulant nature of coffee may have a negative impact, according to Suan Hassig. She is an associate professor of epidemiology emerita at Tulane University’s School of Public Health in New Orleans.
She said, “When you have a viral infection you need to get plenty of rest.”
Sleep is important for your body to recover from viruses. However, coffee, which is meant to keep you awake, can interfere with getting the sleep you require.
Hassig added that energy drinks often contain more caffeine than coffee.
Hassig said that too much caffeine is bad for your health, whether or not you have a cold or the flu.
Large quantities of coffee can be dehydrating for those who drink it infrequently.
Dr. Daniel Monti is the chair of Jefferson Health’s Department of Integrative Medicine and Nutritional Sciences. He also runs DrDanMonti – a medical advice Instagram page.
According to recent research, people who drink moderate amounts of coffee regularly do not suffer from dehydration. Reports that caffeine can cause mild dehydration in people who are not used to it and consume large quantities of the beverage at once.
If you’re not used to drinking coffee, then it’s probably not a great idea to make a huge pot of java when you’re sick. Monti says that it is important to drink water instead of coffee when you feel under the weather.
If you’re experiencing vomiting or diarrhea due to sickness, it is doubly important that you hydrate (with water and not coffee).
Monti said that hydration and rehydration are very important when dealing with severe illnesses.
Coffee and other caffeinated drinks can interfere with sleep when you are sick.
Coffee can also upset your stomach.
Coffee is well-known for making you poop. Coffee can also cause stomach problems for some people.
As previously mentioned, some seasonal illnesses can cause stomach pain.
Hassig said that some of these infections – not just the cold but also the flu – can cause gastrointestinal symptoms. “It is not good to aggravate the whole system, from the stomach all the way through the intestines,” he added.
If you suffer from stomach problems and have a history of them, you should avoid your morning coffee.
In general, if you are sick and drink a small amount of coffee, it is fine.
You don’t need to stop drinking coffee when you are sick. But you can reduce your caffeine intake.
Hassig said that a cup or two of coffee in the morning can help you avoid a caffeine headache, but you should limit your intake because of its stimulant properties. You also need to take it easy when you are sick.
Monti stated that the risk of a mild illness was low. Coffee consumption can cause problems if you have diarrhea or are vomiting.
When you are suffering from a respiratory infection, it is important to make it a point to drink more hydrating beverages.
Hassig explained that water was the best option because it provided the body what it needed most: fluids that would counteract [the illness].
Monti says that warm herbal teas or broths can be helpful to drink when sick.
Monti says that caffeinated green teas are easier to digest and can provide a boost of energy for those who don’t like coffee but still want a little extra.
When you are sick, prioritize rest and hydration.
According to Monti’s research, inflammation in the body increases during a cold or influenza, leading to symptoms such as congestion, runny eyes, and a stuffed-up nose.
Monti explained that two natural ways to reduce inflammation are to drink water and rest.
Reduced inflammation can reduce some of the annoying cold symptoms. Hydration and rest will help your body fight off the virus.