Can Drinking More Water Help Prevent the Flu?
There is no question about it, according to the CDC, this year has been one of the worst recent years for the flu on record. If you have ever had the flu, you know that it can affect your entire system and halt your plans for several days, if not longer. One moment you are feeling well and the next the flu symptoms wreak havoc on your health. Fevers, aches and body chills, among many other unpleasant symptoms, stop your ability to function in your day-to-day routine. The symptoms of the flu hit children and elderly people the hardest. There are many precautions you can take to deter the flu, such as getting a flu shot at your local pharmacy, staying away from people who have the flu and washing your hands often. There are also holistic home remedies that claim to help avoid the illness as well. However, there is no way to guarantee that you won’t contract the flu. Germs spread quickly and varying strains of the flu can be stronger than others.
In addition to taking necessary precautions, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a key part of preventing the flu. A large part of healthy living is nourishing your body and drinking adequate amounts of water to enhance your immune system. Since more than half our bodies are composed of water, drinking the recommended amount may help you, and loved ones, end the flu season unscathed.
Most people know you are supposed to drink plenty of fluids when they are sick with the flu, but did you know that drinking water, including tap water, and staying hydrated year-long can actually help prevent it altogether? Water is essential for our bodies to operate and giving it the right amount strengthens its functions. Dr. David Lewis explains that “the first line of defense is the mucous membrane in the nose,” and, “[it] acts like a sticky flypaper to trap things like dust, dirt and bacteria and prevent them getting to the lungs. If you are dehydrated, the mucous membrane will dry out. When this happens, it is half as effective.” To keep your first line of defense in optimal, flu-fighting shape, it is imperative to drink enough water to fuel it so that it can block undesirable bacteria and viruses through this canal.
Everyday Health affirms that drinking the recommended amount of water is beneficial to your health and one recent study “found staying hydrated may boost a particular immune response to enable your body to better fight the viruses.” This allows your body to avoid contracting the flu and fight off any unwanted symptoms but needs to be fortified with proper hydration and health. Boosting your immune system allows your body to ward off the flu before it becomes potentially problematic, as it often does with people that have weak immune systems.
Because water is made of oxygen, drinking more water increases the oxygen in our bodies. Drinking more water improves our body’s cellular respiration and the removal of toxins in our bodies. Essentially, water helps humans stay healthy, which can boost immunity and help avoid the flu. If you do happen to contract the flu, drinking plenty of water can help fight it and rid your body of the virus. Water is truly an amazing resource and does much more besides boosting our immune systems and helping prevent the flu. Whether it’s flu season or not, drink plenty of readily available tap water from your home faucet and keep hydrated. To learn about more benefits and tips to stay hydrated, read our post ‘New Year, New You: Benefits of Drinking Water