Physical FitnessDoes drinking alcohol help you get over cough and cold?
[0] [3] tweekran
[2011-05-26 10:37:16]
[ cold alcohol ]

What is the percentage content of Alcohol in a cough syrup?

Does driking alcohol help you get over cough and cold? - My friends suggest drinking rum will do me away with my cold. I argue that it dehydrates the body more.

I'm not sure if this questions is still appropriate for this site as its more related to general health than working out - Ivo Flipse
I think this is an off-topic question for the same reasons Ivo Flipse stated - Matt Chan
I'm closing this as off-topic since this no longer fits within the scope defined in the faq. - Matt Chan
[+5] [2011-05-26 13:38:14] Berin Loritsch

The answer to percent alcohol in cough syrup is read the label. Not all cough syrups have alcohol, but many do. For example Robitussin DM [1] does not, but Nyquil [2] does.

The active ingredient in many cough syrups is Dextromethorphan [3], not alcohol. The alcohol helps with sleep, and numbing any pain from the cough, but does nothing to remedy the cough.

Alcohol has the following side-effects:

  • numbs pain
  • can cause drowsiness
  • will dehydrate you (it's a diuretic)
  • is quickly absorbed by the body
  • a source of quick carbs (takes 6-7 hours to fully process as opposed to a full 12 hours) with the commensurate insulin spike.
  • when the carbs are processed you get a burst of energy and will wake up, messing with your sleep patterns.
  • it's addictive

I would say that your friends are not correct [4]. What does work?

  • Sleep
  • Hydration (plenty of water)

[+1] [2011-05-26 20:53:24] YYY

The amount of alcohol in rum and most cough syrups isn't even comparable anyway, particularly when put into dosage context. NyQuil is 25% alcohol and you take 2 teaspoonfuls. Rum is 35-40% alcohol and you take a full shot (usually between 3-5x more than the NyQuil).

Also, excess alcohol weakens the immune system [1], so anyone telling you to treat a disease with hard liquor is not only not correct, they are providing harmful 'help'.


[0] [2012-02-19 01:58:32] Ned

People that abuse alcohol [1] are in fact more prone to catching colds.