Hot toddy with star anise

While some people claim to experience cold relief when they drink alcoholic beverages like this hot toddy, they may actually be weakening their immune systems.


When you're sick with a cold, it's important to drink plenty of fluids, but you may want to stick to chicken soup, hot tea and other non-alcoholic beverages rather than trying to douse your germs with whiskey. Beverages and broths that are hot and steamy are good two-fold: Not only does breathing in the steam temporarily relieve your nasal congestion, drinking a warm beverage can feel soothing. Almost any beverage will help keep you hydrated, and being well-hydrated will help thin out all that mucus you've been making. And now here's the almost: Drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages will dehydrate you. And drinking alcohol to treat a cold may also backfire because taking a tipple a few times a week weakens your immune system [source: Bouchez].