Flu Season is Coming. Are You Prepared? - AfterDrink

Flu Season is Coming. Are You Prepared?

As winter swings into action, few people can survive the chilly weather without spending a few days suffering from the sniffles. The common cold is an ailment that has been plaguing humanity for centuries, to the tune of £29 billion annually lost in workplace productivity in the UK.

Getting sick may be a pain, but you there are plenty of options that may or may not ease your symptoms. But first, you need to know what you are suffering from.

Is it the Flu or a Cold? How To Tell

The symptoms may be similar, but there are some key differences between the common cold and flu that change you should be aware of:

Common cold (AKA Man flu)

  • Sore throat
  • Blocked/ runny nose
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Hoarse voice
  • General feelings of unwellness

Flu (Influenza)

  • Feeling weak : getting out of bed might feel like you’ve climbed a mountain
  • Hot & cold sweats
  • Muscle & joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain/ discomfort
  • +/- any of the symptoms listed under common cold

Cold  = Feel crappy, but surviving. Comes on gradually, mainly affects your nose and throat and is fairly mild.

Flu =  Symptoms come on rapidly, you will be unable to continue on with your daily activities and usually includes muscle aches and fever.

So what do I do?

Unfortunately, once you’ve got the cold or Flu, you’re going to have to ride it out as theres not much that can shorten the duration of the illness. It may be miserable, but there are some ways to ease your suffering and there are others which probably just facilitate the good old placebo effect.

  1. Vitamin C & Zinc – A recent analysis by the Cochrane group (proper research based medicine) have shown that the best evidence we have suggests vitamin C doesn’t help much, if at all. But you can always try and see if works for you.
  2. Ginger Tea – Ginger has been used traditionally for centuries to settle upset stomachs and we still advise pregnant women to take advantage of its anti-sickness properties if they experience morning sickness.
  3. Paracetamol & Ibuprofen – Can definitely help take the edge off and can be taken at the same time. You can buy these for 35p from your local supermarkets. Or you can spend £4 on Lemsip or Nurofen Plus for a shiny box with a sprinkle of caffeine/decongestant. Don’t exceed the recommended daily dose of each and avoid ibuprofen if you have asthma or a history of stomach ulcers.
  4. Nasal decongestant sprays – Can be a god send for those that get really bad blocked noses. It can help you sleep easier at night as your airways will be open and you wont be breathing from your mouth which will only dry out and worsen a sore throat.
  5. Honey with lemon or a hot toddy – Neither is proven to help but honey and lemon without the whiskey is probably the better option particularly if you are planning to have a few. Like ginger tea, the warmth of the drink will help unblock your stuffy nose and is probably the reason why you feel better temporarily.
  6. Antibiotics – Have ZERO, 0, Nil, Nada effect on viral infections.

Final Suggestion


The best advice is to drink lots of fluid, get plenty of rest and indulge in a few days of netflix and chill – preferably on your own so you don’t pass on the germs.


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