This year’s flu season is not messing around.
As the virus has swept the US in recent months, people have turned to some strange habits to keep illness at bay, like chugging orange juice, “starving” their fevers, and taking antibiotics. (Spoiler: None of these will help.)
Orange juice is high in sugar and there’s little to no evidence that the vitamin C it contains helps beat viruses. Depriving yourself of nutrients while you’re sick may also backfire; your weakened immune system needs nutrients to fight off illness. And antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses — which characterize both the flu and the common cold.
Instead, there are several research-backed steps you can take to fight off illness.
Keep in mind, too, that the symptoms of the flu and the common cold can be very similar, but these preventive and defensive tips should help in most cases.