Registered dietitian, Ashley Reaver, MS, RD, CSSD explains that there are both pros and cons to drinking coffee while you’re sick.
“Coffee is high in antioxidants, which help to fight inflammation and bolster the immune system,” Reaver says. “A cup or two of coffee per day while you are sick can help to encourage your immune system while it's battling illness.” A study done by psychologists at the University of Bristol also found that the caffeine in coffee reduces the general grogginess associated with colds. Participants with colds reported after drinking coffee, that it increased their alertness and performance at the same level as it did the healthy group.
Although coffee has its benefits, it can be kind of a buzzkill to your recovery if you’re not careful, though. Reaver continues to explain that although coffee has its benefits, you should stop drinking it six to eight hours before you go to bed. Rest is critical when recovering from an illness and the caffeine in coffee can negatively impact your ability to get the sleep you need, explains Reaver. Be sure if you’re drinking coffee that you’re also taking down lots of water, too, so you don’t run the risk of dehydration – another critical part to your recovery.
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