Here’s what coffee can do for your common cold

Should I drink coffee when I’m sick?

As the cooler weather drifts in, our minds start to take a serious day trip to encounter all things fall. You could say we’ve caught the Autumn cold and symptoms include downing pumpkin spice lattes, bundling up in scarves, flushed cheeks, binge-watching Halloween movies, and eating caramel apples. But what happens when the common cold sets in and your haunted hayrides turn into a drippy nose that haunts you even more? Is it still safe to down your latte?

According to a study done by psychologists at the University of Bristol, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee had a positive effect on common cold symptoms. Typically, when you encounter a cold, you experience something called malaise. This simply means you perform a little slower at a decreased rate of alertness.

During this study, 100 volunteers were tested when healthy, and 46 returned to the lab when they developed colds. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three beverages — caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, or fruit juice. Caffeine increased alertness and performance of the people with colds to the same level as the healthy group and decaf also led to an improvement.

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Because of the effects coffee has on the body already, it may lead to a little pep in your step during a cold. Believe it or not, some components of coffee have been found to be 500 times higher in antioxidant activity than Vitamin C alone. Because of this, they have been used to serve as powerful prebiotics and antimicrobials to help fight illnesses. However, it’s also important to note that it’s possible the acidity in some coffees may irritate an already inflamed throat.

[Read more: Coffee found to have higher antioxidant activity than Vitamin C]

DON’T FRET, there’s a simple solution for this. By changing your brewing method to cold-brew coffee, you’ll still get the jolt you’re looking for, without the same acidic makeup from a hot-brewed cup. Or if cold brew isn't your thing, try switching to a lower-acid coffee like Death Wish Coffee

(Photo Credit: kimberly_boyle via Instagram)

The cooler weather is just starting to roll in, and if it hasn’t caught up to you, keep your coffee routine going strong! If it has, this should give you some peace of mind. Be sure to stay hydrated, too. A cup of coffee, a cup of water, a cup of coffee, a cup of water. Stick to that pattern and you’ll be as golden as the trees outside your window.

Related: Five fall drinks that don't suck