How Does Fluid Intake Impact Illness Recovery?

Discover how fluid intake during illness impacts recovery, from hydration to mucus and immune support.

How Does Fluid Intake Impact Illness Recovery?
Photo by Katie Smith / Unsplash

When hit with a cold, it's common advice to drink plenty of fluids.

But why is that?

Understanding why our bodies benefit from increased fluid intake during illness can shed light on the importance of staying hydrated.

Hydration and Mucus

One reason for this advice is that adequate fluid intake can help thin out mucus.

Mucus, produced in our respiratory system, helps trap and eliminate pathogens.

However, when we're dehydrated, mucus can become thicker and more difficult to expel.

Increasing fluid intake can help keep mucus thin and more manageable, aiding in the body's efforts to clear out the virus responsible for the cold.

Temperature Regulation

Another reason to up our fluid intake during an illness is to help regulate body temperature.

Fevers are common with many colds and flu, and they can lead to increased fluid loss through sweating.

Staying properly hydrated supports the body's ability to regulate temperature, aiding in the recovery process.

Immune System Support

The immune system requires proper hydration to function at its best.

Water is essential for the body's processes, and immune functions are no exception.

Drinking fluids can support the immune system's efforts to fight off the cold virus, potentially reducing the duration and severity of the illness.

Antioxidant Delivery and Toxin Elimination

Fluids can also aid in delivering essential nutrients, such as antioxidants, throughout the body.

Furthermore, staying well-hydrated supports kidney function, facilitating the elimination of toxins and metabolic waste products, which can be especially important during an illness.

Next time you're reaching for that glass of water during a cold - it's not just a comforting habit, it's actually supporting your body's fight against the virus.