Can Drinking Cure Your Cold?

It’s that time of year again… aching, wheezing, coughing up loogies – the shakes, fevers and sore throats. For the first time in several years, I neglected to get a Flu shot and sure enough, I got hit with it badly. Nursing a two day old 103 degree temperature, my doc was kind enough to save me a trip to the E.R. and phone in a prescription for Tamiflu. He rocks. Keep in mind though, there is no such thing as a sick day in this business.

That said, for as long as I’ve been bartending, there’s been this belief – among many – that a good ‘ol Hot Toddy, or a couple of fingers of quality Whiskey will either clear things right up or at the very least – make you “feel” a whole lot better.

I love me some Giz (that’s pronounced with a hard g you pervs)… as in Gizmodo. I’m a tech junkie. As mentioned previously, not only does Gawker Media (Gizmodo’s publisher) publish the very best in tech news, but they’re revelers at heart. Every once in a while they’ll investigate and report on some of the finer points of imbibing like their mucho insightful post on Endurance Drinking. Such is the case this again week as they delve into the science behind the belief that booze is what you really need to get over your latest bout of bacteria or virus infestation.

“So why does whiskey (and hot toddies and such) sometimes make your throat feel better? Mostly because it gets you a drunk. One of the byproducts of even lower levels of intoxication is that you stop feeling pain so acutely. While this sounds nice, there are risks, aside from the usual drunken ones. First, alcohol is very drying. When you’ve got a sore throat or a cough, the last thing you want is your throat to be any drier…”

Myth busted. Giz concludes:

“We can reasonably conclude that if you’re already sick (or getting sick), boozing ain’t going to help you. In fact it may make things worse. That said, if you have a penchant for red wine, there’s some evidence that suggests it may significantly boost your cold-fighting abilities. You may be able to get achieve the same results from grape juice, however. The jury is out on that one.”

Click through for the full read.

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