When you get a cold, people always say, “Drink lots of fluids”— but how will that actually make you feel better?

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To start, drinking more fluids keeps you from becoming dehydrated. Your body needs water to clear toxins throughout the day, and if you’re vomiting, have diarrhea or a fever, you could lose a lot of water.

But adding fluids to your system does more than just keep you hydrated, it also helps the upper and lower respiratory secretions from thickening. This allows you to keep your airways open and makes breathing easier.

Any clear liquids will do the trick, but aim to opt for water, broth, hot tea and ice chips. Steer clear of alcohol and coffee, as they’ll lead to dehydration.

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