Drinking Fluids to Conquer a Cold

One common piece of advice for treating a cold is to drink plenty of fluids. But as Anahad O’Connor writes in this week’s “Really?” column, it isn’t clear whether drowning a cold in water or juice really helps.

Theoretically, taking in extra beverages like water and juice helps replace fluids lost from fever and respiratory tract evaporation, and it helps loosen mucus. But when a team of scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia set out to determine whether this was indeed the case, they found a surprising dearth of data in the medical literature.

For their report, published in the journal BMJ in 2004, “we examined references of relevant papers and contacted experts in the subject,” they wrote, yet were unable to find even a single clinical trial in the last four decades that specifically studied whether increased fluid intake reduced the severity of an infection.

To learn more, read the full column, “The Claim: Drink Plenty of Fluids to Beat a Cold.” Then please join the discussion below. What helps most when you have a cold?

Courtesy of http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/

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