During cold and flu season, the immune system is firing on all cylinders to keep you healthy. Doctors say hydrating with immunity-boosting beverages can prevent the flu from developing in the first place, but right now that ship has sailed. You're sick and don't have two weeks to sit on the couch recouping.  

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Here's a list of exactly what to drink to bounce back from the flu. But first, consider this nugget of knowledge: 

Your hydration choices build your immune system.  

Healthy hydration is a preventive, natural approach to building a strong immune system. That's because lifestyle (i.e. stress, exercise, food, sleep) is a major determinant of how theoretically buff and ass-kicking your network of cells and organs are. 

If you want Viking-esque cells, you have to make that choice while reaching for the fridge. When choosing between iced tea or soda, coconut water or sugary sports drinks, remember how you feel now. Pick the damn tea and coconut water. *You can almost hear your cells' rally cry.   

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Now that you're older and wiser, here's what to drink when you have the flu now:  


Try: Kombucha

Studies show probiotics can reduce both the occurrence of cold and flus and the duration of symptoms, particularly upper-respiratory issues. Nobody likes phlegm. Since a huge amount of our immune system lives in the GI tract, it's also smart to take extra care of gut health during a sick spell. There's no need to pop a probiotic pill. You can get all the good-gut and anit-flu benefits of probiotics in a yummy daily drink. Namely, kombucha- carbonated tea rich in probiotics. Look for a kombucha with 2 billion CFUs (the good-gut bacteria) and USDA certified organic ingredients.  


Try: Coconut Water 

Not just for muscle cramps, potassium is an essential mineral and electrolyte depleted when you spend the day sick in the toilet. Bananas are killer for replenishing potassium, but the idea of stomaching any food may be out of the question. Instead, drink coconut water. One serving carries a powerful 300mg of potassium, with a dash of natural sodium (aka salt) that helps the body cling to fluid and keep you hydrated. Potassium also helps cells get nutrients and relaxes blood vessels. Bonus: the natural tropical flavor of coconut water may spark memories of calm vacation days, thereby easing and distracting the mind from how crappy you feel.  


Try: Iced Tea 

Antioxidants are abundant in green and black tea, even the natural ready-to-drink iced teas from the store... as long as it's made from real, quality tea. It's the Catechins in tea that are natural antioxidants, so choose a tea with a stronger ratio of real leaves. Experts suggest antioxidants can make the flu a little less crummy by preventing damage to the immune system. This happens by reducing free radicals in the body thereby protecting cells. It's essential to choose a tea with 0 sugar, however, like this line of craft bottled teas. A big dose of sugar can suppress the immune system 


Try: Natural Echinacea Juice  

Extracts of the herbaceous echinacea plant are not often enjoyed pre-cold or flu- although some evidence suggests it can help diminish odds of catching something. More commonly, echinacea is an herbal remedy turned to once sickness hits. Echinacea can produce white blood cells and build up the immune system, while possibly reducing the duration of days you're out of the office. The herbal medicinal taste is best paired with ginger (to ease the stomach), and a bit of real fruit juice. Otherwise, grab it in a spray and wash down the flavor with water.   


Try: Pure spring water  

Among the drinks on this list, make sure you're getting a ton of water while sick. Flu dehydration is real and while it's smart to add a dose of potassium, antioxidants, etc. to your cold and flu nightstand (especially when losing fluids), water is your No. 1 boo. Water replaces fluid lost from a fever and loosens mucus. However, don't flood your body to the point of inducing vomiting. Just enough to prevent dehydration and get your immune system fighting back.  

sick hot mess GIF by Denyse®

How do you hydrate during cold and flu season? Share your tips with New Age on social media here.