Can beer help a cold?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Can beer help a cold?’ and will also discuss which ingredients in the beer can help to combat cold.


Can beer help a cold?

No, beer cannot help a cold.

According to this widespread belief, alcohol has a sterilizing effect on cold and flu viruses. However, when alcohol enters the body, it is absorbed through the stomach and gastrointestinal system rather than the upper respiratory tract, where viruses dwell. A cold or flu can’t be cured by consuming alcohol since it doesn’t come in contact with the virus.

Because alcohol is inefficient at eliminating germs that cause colds or influenza, it can aggravate the symptoms of a typical cold or flu. Alcohol dehydrates the body, slowing down other biological responses and reducing the immune system’s ability to fight off infection and disease. In addition, alcohol might cause significant problems when used with other medicines. When you’re unwell, it’s best to stay away from alcoholic beverages.

The nutritional component in beer that can help cold

According to research conducted by Japan’s oldest brewery, drinking beer is healthy for you and your children.

“Humulone,” a chemical component found in hops and barley that helps the human body fight the common cold virus, was reported by the news agency Agence-France Presse. Hops are one of three fundamental ingredients in beer, along with water and barley. A child’s bronchitis and pneumonia might be caused by the same infection. In the absence of a vaccine, the study by Japanese beverage company Sapporo suggests that beer might prove to be a unique means of combating these diseases.

Jun Fuchimoto, a researcher with Sapporo, told AFP that a single can of beer did not contain enough humulone to make a difference. A 30-can binge would need around 4,500 calories and enough booze to make getting sick the least of your concerns. Food and non-alcoholic drinks are being considered for inclusion in Sapporo, Fuchimoto added.

The additional health advantages of beer, however, should not be overlooked. It has been found to enhance bone density and lower the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia. Hair and skin will be shinier as a result of hops’ protein content.

Beer can worsen the cold symptoms

A cold may make you feel awful. Flu-like symptoms like coughing and congestion may make even the simplest of chores tiring. All of these things can help you feel better: getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and taking it easy for a while. There’s one item that may not be true: Alcohol.

Dr. Robert Segal, MD, Lab Finder’s co-founder, advises against drinking beer when you have a cold. ‘When you’re ill, your immune system is already compromised’ Drinking will just make things worse.”

Dehydration can also be a result of drinking too much. According to Dr. Segal, drinking alcohol puts us in danger of being dehydrated, and “dehydration can make congestion worse”.

You should be aware of the connection between alcohol and any cold medications you may be taking if you decide to drink while sick. The doctor warns, “If you’re on medicine, you need to be careful.” “Some over-the-counter and prescription medicines can interact with alcohol. There is an increased risk when these medicines are taken with alcohol.”

Common facts

A hot toddy whiskey with hot water and lemon juice is often touted as a fast cure for colds.

However, there is no evidence that alcohol may destroy viruses in the bloodstream or limit the spread of a cold. In addition, while alcohol may temporarily alleviate symptoms, it might prolong them by causing dehydration.

Despite this, two major studies have shown that moderate drinking can help prevent colds, even if it does not cure them. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University studied 391 people in 1993 and found that moderate drinking enhanced resistance to colds, except in smokers.

Then, in 2002, researchers in Spain studied the behaviors and susceptibility to colds of 4,300 healthy individuals. Beer, spirits, vitamin C, and zinc consumption did not affect the cold incidence, according to research published in The American Journal of Epidemiology. Eight to fourteen glasses of wine a week, especially red wine, was associated with a 60 percent reduction in the chance of getting a cold. Wine’s anti-oxidant qualities were identified as a possible explanation by the experts.

According to a recent study, beer may be able to treat more than just a hangover. Scientists in Japan believe that it might help fend off a cold during the winter season

It was discovered at the Sapporo Medical University in Japan that the chemical humulone can help fight the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). As the name suggests, it’s a chemical component found in hops, the plant that gives beer its bitter flavor.

Children and babies are at most risk from RSV although adults can have cold-like symptoms.

Other FAQs about Beer  that you may be interested in.

Can I drink beer after tooth extraction?

Can I drink beer after wine?

 Can I drive after one beer?


In this brief guide, we answered the question, “Can beer help a cold?’ and also discussed which ingredients in the beer can help to combat cold.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.