This Is What You Should Drink If You Feel a Cold Coming on, According to Science

Updated: Nov. 21, 2019

Boosting your immunity could be as simple as drinking this popular hot beverage daily.

sick woman in bed with tissuesMonkey Business Images/ShutterstockThe temperatures are dropping and that can mean so many wonderful things: falling leaves, cozy sweaters, crackling fireplaces, and the holidays. But it also means flu season.

When your body begins showing signs of a nasty cold, like sneezing or congestion, or a whole body flu, like chills and fatigue, you might be inclined to hurry to the drugstore or your medicine cabinet to take over-the-counter meds—which may or may not work. But too often we forget about nature’s remedies for fighting the flu.

Turns out, sipping a hot cup of tea is not only comforting while you’re feeling under the weather but it may have some benefits to help you overcome this season’s biggest sickness.

According to a meta-analysis published in Molecules, green tea may be an immune booster, helping fight both cold and influenza viruses. Researchers found that not only does drinking tea on a regular basis help you recover from a cold but may also make you less likely to get one in the first place and could help prevent recurring or new infections. And that’s not all, check out these other possible benefits of black tea.

Green tea is a noteworthy cold-fighter thanks to its antioxidant quercetin, according to research published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases and Preventative Medicine. Quercetin acts as an antiviral agent, hindering viral replication of many respiratory viruses, including the influenza virus, they found. A separate study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, found quercetin derived from a plant to inhibit the replication of a common cold virus in its initial stage of infection.

Grandmothers have touted the benefits of tea for millennia, but it is easy to forget that a soothing cup does more than just satisfy you—science suggests it may protect against pesky, and sometimes life-threatening, viruses like the flu. Find out more benefits of drinking green tea.