Can u drink alcohol when you have a cold

Can u drink alcohol when you have a cold
Can u drink alcohol when you have a cold

There are a lot of nasty, spiteful bugs going around. Colds and flu are putting individuals out of commission for weeks on end. This means that may be right now one of your fellow friends has told you to drink some whiskey because that’ll knock the cold right out.Can u drink alcohol when you have a cold

Can u drink alcohol when you have a cold

Can u drink alcohol when you have a cold
Can u drink alcohol when you have a cold

Some individuals swear by it. But is there any logical proof to support that (admittedly fun) theory? Let’s see.

Knocking Out the Virus

First let’s discuss the theory that after you’re already getting ill, drinking brandy (or whiskey, or other spirits) will kill the most of the harmful viruses and you’ll wake up healthy. It’s a lovely idea, but sadly, no study has ever proved that this is a true assumption. Moreover, it doesn’t make any discerning sense at all. Individuals think, Hey, liquor is used to sterilize stuff and eliminate viruses outside of my body, so why wouldn’t it work inside by body? The explanation has to do with concentrations. Can u drink alcohol when you have a cold

Once you’re already contaminated with a flu r cold virus, it’s in your bloodstream. That suggests that if you want to kill it, you’d have to kill it inside your blood. Yes, devouring alcohol does boost your blood-alcohol levels, but not even close. According to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control), “Ethyl alcohol, at concentrations of 65%–80%, is a powerful virucidal factor inactivating all of the lipophilic viruses (e.g., vaccinia, herpes, and influenza virus) and many other hydrophilic viruses…” In simply means, your bloodstream would most probably need to be 65 to 80 present alcohol (which is surely a big number) in order to kill your virus. When you think about that a blood-alcohol level of 0.2 % is more than enough to put most individuals in a swoon, and raising it up to 0.5 can simply cause death by alcohol poisoning, this is not a logical solution. Can u drink alcohol when you have a cold

Soothing a Ruffian Throat

Theory number two. “Oh, you got a sore throat, bro? Throw back some brandy and/or wisky! It’ll kill that ish on your throat real fast!” Thanks, bro. At least this one makes some sense, in speculation. An alcohol is used to sterilize surfaces. The facade of your throat is a surface! Q.E.D.! Except not really. First of all the spirit supposedly doesn’t stay on your throat long enough to really sterilize it, it is simply washed away by saliva. And secondly, even if it did, it would only free the top part of your throat. When drinking, the liquid is moved down from your pharynx, through your esophagus, and in the end into your abdomen. Actually, the thing is that most sore throats stretch down your breathing pipe, not your food pipe and that’s why they are so hard to sooth.

Alcohol gets you a drunk, one of the byproducts of even moderate levels of intoxication is that you stop feeling pain so acutely. And just because of this whiskey (and hot toddies and such) seldom make your throat feel better. This may sound a nice option but there are risks, apart from the usual drunken ones. Alcohol is very drying. When you’ve got a cough or a sore throat, the last thing you desire is your throat to be any drier. Dry tissues are far more sensitive to abrasions. Also, alcohol brings your blood vessels nearer to the surface of your throat, which considerably increases the chance of scratching your delicate tissues. Can u drink alcohol when you have a cold


Now, this part is interesting. There have been two studies which show that frequent consumption of alcohol may actually make you less receptive to getting colds in the first place. The first study was conveyed by Carnegie Mellon University in 1993 to see the connection between smoking, drinking, and sensitivity to the common cold. 390 subjects were intentionally exposed to one of five respiratory viruses and 24 subjects given saline. The study presumed that smokers got sick more often, individuals who were smokers and drinkers got caught by the cold a normal amount, and individuals who just drank got infected less than the others.

Another study found slightly different results. Issued in 2001, the study looked at 4,273 faculties and staff of five Spanish universities. It affirmed that alcohol intake in the form of beer and spirits had no effect whatsoever on an individual’s sensitivity to the common cold. Though, the study concluded that individual who drank more than 14 glasses of wine per week were a whopping 60 percent less likely to get caught by cold. However, that it is not just the alcohol, but somewhat the high levels of antioxidants which are in the wine that does all the work. If that’s the case then guzzlers of Guinness and other high-intensity beers (which are high in alike antioxidants) might give you the similar benefits. Though, 14 glasses of wine per week is not an irrelevant amount (two per night, on average), but not to forgot, there may be health risks that surpass the cold-fighting benefits for some individuals.


We can fairly conclude that if you’re already suffering from cold (or getting sick), alcohol ain’t going to help you. In fact, it may make things serious. That said, if you have a propensity for red wine, there’s some proof that suggests it may significantly raise your cold-fighting abilities. You may be able to get the same results with the help of grape juice. Can u drink alcohol when you have a cold

All that said, have I ever downed whiskey when I’ve felt a cold coming on and woken up in the next morning feeling miraculously better? Yes. But is that good science? No. I have done the same experiment and woken up feeling much worse. Again, bad science, but the thing is that outcomes are wildly inconsistent at best. So, next time whenever you’re trying to go home early because you’re not feeling good, and your friend tell you that you should stay and drink whiskey instead, tell him that his hypotheses have no scientific basis.

Cold is worse and just remember not to drink alcohol to make your cold worse and suffer more.

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