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How to Get Rid of a Cold Fast

Learn what you can do to get quick relief from your cold symptoms.

Every year, people across the United States catch over one billion colds—it’s no wonder why it’s called the “common cold”. In fact, you’re likely to experience more colds in your lifetime than any other illness.1 And when you do get a cold, you want to know how to get over it as fast as possible. With cold and flu season in full swing, here are some tips that can help you fight back and get rid of a cold fast.

1. Stay Hydrated

One way to get rid of a cold is to flush it out by staying hydrated. Liquids can help break down congestion, keep your throat lubricated, and of course, prevent dehydration. So be sure to drink up: water, fruit juices and clear broths are great choices. Just make sure to stay away from alcohol, coffee and any caffeinated sodas as they can make dehydration worse.

2. Take it easy and rest up

When you’re fighting a cold and feeling under the weather, it’s important to take some time out and simply rest. Your immune system is busy working to fight off the infection, so your body needs time to restore and heal. That’s why it’s key to get as much sleep as possible. Embrace naps, turn in early and catch as many z’s as you can.

3. Add some moisture to the air

Another way to help get rid of a cold is to use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier to add some moisture to your home. This can really help loosen up congestion and can be especially helpful to relieve throat irritation. Just be sure to change the water daily.

4. Sip warm liquids

Warm liquids may help soothe a sore nose or throat and ease congestion symptoms, since they help increase mucus flow. Opt for things like chicken soup, herbal teas or just warm water with lemon for some soothing relief.

5. Gargle salt water

Although salt water won’t cure your sore throat, it is a quick way to ease the pain that the soreness is causing you. When you gargle with salt water, the salt can draw out the bacteria in your throat that's causing it to be sore while protecting the gums.3 Add no more than ½ teaspoon of salt per 8-ounces of water to get a temporary relief from your sore throat.2

6. Eat a balanced diet

The types of foods you eat can provide nutrients to help boost your immune system. Making sure you’re getting enough vitamins A, C, and E, along with enough zinc and protein might help strengthen your immune system. These nutrients help the cells in your body function to protect you against pathogens, oxidants, and slow down the growth of bacteria and viruses in your body.4

7. Take over-the-counter medications

Look for over-the-counter medications, like Theraflu, that have active ingredients to ease different cold symptoms. Some of the ingredients you want to quickly relieve your symptoms are:

  • Acetaminophen
    Acetaminophen changes the way your body perceives pain. It also lowers your fever.3
  • Phenylephrine
    Phenylephine is a nasal decongestant that causes vasoconstriction, which leads to decreased swelling and increased drainage of the sinus cavities.3
  • Diphenhydramine
    Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that helps in relieving sneezing and runny nose, among other symptoms.3
  • Dextromethorphan
    Dextromethorphan relieves coughing by reducing activity in the part of the brain that’s responsible for it.3

8. Feel better with Theraflu 

While there is no immediate cure for a cold, over-the-counter cold and flu medicines like Theraflu can help ease your most severe symptoms and get you back on your feet. Theraflu makes products that include the aforementioned active ingredients to help you feel better quickly. There are medicines for daytime relief, nighttime relief, and ExpressMax for when you’re looking for symptom relief with a warming sensation. The different products Theraflu makes to relieve your cold symptoms come in the forms of syrup, hot liquid powder, and caplets. And with powerful symptom relief, especially at night, you’ll be able to rest as you recover—and feel better.

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