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Alcohol

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.

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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].

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