Have you caught the cold virus? There's a reason why it's known as the "common cold." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average person catches two or three colds per year, whereas children are even more susceptible to the virus with an average of seven or eight colds per year. While it's nearly impossible to avoid colds altogether, there are ways to recover from it more quickly.
Get Your Sleep
Sleep plays an important role in your body's ability to fight infections -- and cold infections are no exception. When you sleep, your immune system goes into overdrive to attack and neutralize viruses. If you don't get enough sleep, however, it won't have the opportunity to fight the cold virus. Therefore, you should aim for a solid eight hours of restful sleep per night.
Hydration is equally as important as sleep. When your dehydrated, germs like the cold virus will thrive inside your body. Drinking plenty of water helps to flush these infection-causing germs from your body. As a result, staying hydrated can help you recover from a cold more quickly. Just remember to drink water and not soda or other sugary beverages. Consuming excess sugar -- whether from a cola, sports drink or any other beverage or food -- will suppress your body's immune system so that it's less effective at fighting the cold virus.
Increase Zinc Intake
Increasing your intake of zinc may help you recover from a cold more quickly. According to WebMD, studies have shown that taking zinc can reduce the duration of cold infections by up to 50%. Researchers believe zinc assists with the body's immune system, allowing it to identify and neutralize cold viruses more effectively. Foods that contain zinc include oysters, nuts, seeds, whole grains, milk, eggs, pork and beef.
Use a Humidifier
While a humidifier won't necessarily speed up your recovery time, it can ease the symptoms of a cold. Nasal congestion, as well as inflammation, are common symptoms of a cold infection. You can treat these symptoms, however, by using a humidifier. A humidifier will keep your nasal passages moist to minimize upper respiratory systems like congestion and inflammation.
Don't let a cold infection prevent you from enjoying life. Follow these tips to get back on your feet. Cold infections are certainly a nuisance, but they typically don't pose any serious or immediate health concerns. And by getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated and increasing your intake of zinc, you can shorten their duration.