Beat flu faster
What really helps with flu recovery.
With flu season just starting, those in the higher risk groups for flu – such as over 65s and pregnant women – should visit their GP for vaccination. Check here if you’re unsure. For everyone else, if flu strikes, doing a few simple things to speed up your recovery is important.
How do I know it’s flu – not a cold?
Usually, you’ll just feel a lot worse a lot quicker! Flu usually comes on much faster than a cold.
A fever, or raised temperature, aching body and head and fatigue are common flu symptoms that you are less likely to have with a cold.
3 steps to faster flu recovery.
- Get loads of sleep.
Stay warm. Stay home. And best of all, stay in bed. It may seem obvious, but struggling on with work or life only makes flu last longer. Research shows that sleep can help the body produce white blood cells and battle infection. Lots of sleep may even help stop you getting flu in the first place.
- Eat and drink properly.
Keep drinking water – 2 litres a day is recommended to help prevent dehydration and stop mucus build-up. Food-wise, aim for things that are rich in Vitamin C – peppers, kiwi tomatoes, and the antioxidant beta-carotene – like carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and apricots.
- Ask for help if you need it.
Flu can be more serious if you’re over 65, pregnant, have a long-term medical condition or a weakened immune system. If this is the case, your symptoms don’t improve after 7 days, or you’re worried about a child with flu, see a GP.
Reviewed by: Asimah Hanif, Lead GP, LIVI
- Last updated:
- 5 Nov 2019