Having a cough or a cold is never any fun, especially as you simply need to keep yourself well and wait the symptoms out. Even so, the foods and drinks that you choose can change your experience dramatically. That’s why in this post, we’re looking at the best drinks for coughs and colds.
The drinks featured in this list can all help you to weather a cold and come out the other side without too much stress. Many of these will help to relieve some of your symptoms, such as clearing a stuffy nose or soothing a sore throat.
Others provide beneficial nutrients or other plant-based compounds that could help improve your body’s ability to fight off the cold.
Drinks For Coughs And Colds
- Warm Water
- Lemon, Ginger And Honey
- A Spice Laden Drink
- Honey And Tea
- Golden Milk
- A Hot Toddy
- Green Tea
- Lemon Water
- Infused Water
- Peppermint Tea
- Licorice Tea
- Clear Broths
- Pineapple Juice
- Eucalyptus Tea
- Almond Milk Chai Latte
- Other Herbal Teas
- White Whiskey And Orange Juice
- Ginger Ale
- Golden Milk
Getting enough water when you’re sick is critical. Warm water is a particularly good way to do this, as warm liquids are easier on a sore throat than cold liquids.
Warm drinks can also help to reduce some of the symptoms from a cold, including chills, fatigue and a sore throat.
Lemon, Ginger And Honey
A hot lemon, ginger and honey drink is one of the most popular choices if you’ve got a cough or a cold. The drink really is as simple as the name suggests. You just use those three ingredients and some water.
While the drink is generally served hot, even this isn’t essential – as the drink tastes just as good cold. Of course, hot drinks are more soothing for your throat than cold ones, so you’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of the different options.
A Spice Laden Drink
Ginger isn’t the only spice that is thought to help with coughs and colds. Turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and even just simple black pepper, have all been linked to benefits for your throat or immune system.
You can get some of these benefits by simply expanding on a drink that you already enjoy.
The lemon, ginger and honey drink from above is a classic example. Try making this drink by boiling the ingredients together in a saucepan. Add in some of the other spices at the same time.
The lemon and honey should help to balance the overall flavor of your drink, creating something that is both healthy and delicious.
Honey And Tea
Adding honey into tea is a simple way to get the soothing properties of honey, without needing to spend time making a complex drink. You can use any type of tea, but black tea works particularly well.
For that matter, you don’t need to stick to regular tea. You could use herbal tea instead if that’s your preference. Herbal tea could be better in some situations, as herbal teas tend to be caffeine-free, so they won’t keep you awake at night.
Speaking of drinks that rely on spices, golden milk is a particularly good option to try out. This drink also goes by the name turmeric latte and is made using milk, turmeric and a selection of other spices.
Most of the time, you would make the golden milk by boiling and then simmering all of the ingredients together in a pot for ten minutes or so. The resulting mixture can then be strained into cups and consumed will warm.
If you’re making golden milk for a cold, try to rely on plant-based milk rather than dairy milk. Some people find that dairy adds to congestion and there are concerns about the link between dairy protein and inflammation. Using a plant-based milk instead gets around these challenges.
Including honey in the golden milk is also a good idea. While honey is an optional ingredient in golden milk, it is useful for mellowing out the flavor and helping to soothe a sore throat.
A Hot Toddy
Hot toddies are a classic drink for a cough, cold or sore throat – and there are countless variations to choose from. For the most part, a hot toddy relies on water, honey, and lemon, along with whiskey.
As we already know, lemon and honey work well for reducing some of the symptoms of a cold, including a sore throat. The alcohol helps too, as it can numb a sore throat while providing a warming sensation.
Whiskey is also useful at night, as it can help you to wind down and get off to sleep faster. Because hot toddies are mostly water, they end up being hydrating too.
You can include other ingredients in your hot toddy too. Spices are a common addition, such as cinnamon and ginger.
Just make sure that you choose your ingredients carefully. Some hot toddies rely on a large amount of honey, along with apple cider. This combination of ingredients creates a very sweet drink, which isn’t at all ideal for a cold.
The health benefits of green tea are well established, making the tea a logical choice if you are sick. The various compounds in green tea have a variety of potential health benefits. These may help your body to fight off any infection.
Green tea is also useful simply as a healthy and refreshing drink that is low in sugar. Green tea does have caffeine, so you may need to avoid drinking the tea too late at night, as getting enough sleep is a critical aspect of recovering from any illness.
If you want a simple drink to help with your cold, then it’s hard to go past lemon water. Lemon water is, quite simply, water with lemon juice added. The lemon juice provides an extra hit of vitamin C and other plant-based nutrients that can help to boost your immune system.
While you can choose how much lemon you add, lemon water does end up being mostly water. After all, lemon has an intense flavor and is quite acidic, so you wouldn’t want your drink to be too concentrated.
The ratio of lemon to water isn’t a bad thing at all, as it’s important to stay hydrated when you have a cough or a cold. Some people even find that lemon water is easier to drink than plain water, especially when their throat is sore.
While we’re on the topic of water, you can also turn to infused water. This approach adds extra flavor to your water too, but this time you’re not using juice.
Instead, infused water is generally made by soaking various cut up pieces of fruit in your water. Herbs and vegetables like cucumber and rosemary are sometimes used as well. The number of flavor combinations is limited only by your imagination.
It’s best to infuse your water for at least a few hours so that the flavor from your ingredients gets into the water. Infusing the water overnight will give even better results.
Peppermint has multiple benefits for people with a cold. It can help to soothe your throat, clear your sinuses, and also break down any mucus.
You could simply crush peppermint leaves and smell them or use peppermint essential oil, but peppermint tea ends up being even more useful. With peppermint tea, you’re also getting a hot drink that contains plenty of water.
The tea can be made using fresh peppermint leaves or dried ones. Some companies make peppermint tea bags, which makes the process even easier.
While licorice tea is less well-known than peppermint tea, it is a powerful option if you have a cold. The compounds in licorice can help to soothe your throat, while also helping you to fight off any infection.
Various companies make licorice tea bags, so you can easily prepare licorice tea for yourself at home. Just be sure to pick a brand that doesn’t use any added sugar.
Clear broths and soups are rich in nutrition, making them great to sip on when you can’t stomach eating solid food. They’ll help you to keep your strength up while soothing your throat at the same time.
Pineapple contains bromelain, which is an enzyme that has anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain may also help to break down mucus.
Drinking pineapple juice also provides you with a variety of other useful plant-based nutrients, including vitamin C. The drink is refreshing too, which is another advantage.
If you find the juice too sugary, you could dilute it with water to create a lighter drink that still tastes delicious.
Eucalyptus tea is another interesting choice, as the herb has a long history of being used to treat respiratory illnesses. You’ll sometimes find eucalyptus tea as a single type of herbal tea, while in other cases eucalyptus may be included as one herb among multiple.
Almond Milk Chai Latte
Chai tea relies on black tea with a variety of spices. The drink ends up being refreshing while the spices may help to boost your immune system.
Regular chai tea is generally made using warm milk and warm water, while a chai latte relies on a chai tea shot and warm milk. You can use any type of milk that you like, including dairy milk, but almond milk is an especially good choice when you have a cold.
The drink ends up with a soothing texture and a spicy kick. When you’re choosing chai tea bags or liquid chai tea, make sure to check the ingredients label. Some versions end up being high in sugar and that sugar isn’t going to help you with your cold.
Other Herbal Teas
While some herbal teas may have more benefits than others, almost any type of herbal tea will be beneficial when you have a cold. Herbal teas are all comforting hot drinks that keep you hydrated. Those features alone are critical when you have a cough or a cold.
Still, it’s important to pay attention to the ingredients of your herbal tea. Herbs can interfere with some medications, so you’ll need to watch out for any interactions.
It’s also important to avoid any teas marketed as detox or something similar. Detox teas often contain natural laxatives, which is the last thing you want if you are suffering from a cold.
White Whiskey And Orange Juice
Orange juice is a common choice when you’re sick. It is an easy way to increase your vitamin C intake.
Adding white whiskey to your orange juice provides extra benefits, as the whiskey will help to clear your sinuses and warm you from the inside out. You could heat up the drink or serve it cold. Either way tastes just as good.
Ginger ale is a refreshing drink that is lower in sugar than many other types of soda. The ginger is good for your cold too, while the bubbles can help your sore throat to feel better.
Golden milk is a popular way to increase turmeric intake. There are various ways to make the drink. One of the simplest is to boil your milk of choice with turmeric in a pot, then leave the mixture to simmer.
The drink should be good to after about ten minutes or so. You can also add in any other spices during the boiling stage too, such as cinnamon or ginger.
Some people find that dairy increases congestion when they have a cold. If you’re worried about this, try relying on a plant-based milk instead, such as almond milk or coconut milk.
We mentioned warm water at the start of this list, but honestly, any type of water is important when you are under the weather. Staying hydrated has a huge impact on your body’s ability to recover.
While pure filtered water is one of the best choices, many of the other beverages in this list help you to drink water too. In the end, the most important thing is to make sure that you’re getting enough water. The specific way that you do so is less important.