According to moms everywhere, yes, cold weather increases the risk for the common cold. “You have to bundle up before you go outside or you’ll catch a cold,” they tell us. But is that claim true? Are we more susceptible to colds when the temperature drops?
A team of Yale University researchers examined that question more carefully. And their results won’t surprise mom. In their experiment, the team found that subjects were more susceptible to rhinoviruses – a major cause of colds – when their noses were cold.
The only catch? The subjects were mice.
Essentially, the study found that when the cells in the subjects’ noses were at normal body temperatures, the mice were able to detect the virus and alert the immune system. But when the cells were colder – which would happen after spending time in the cold – the nose didn’t detect the virus and didn’t alert the immune system. Cold weather completely disrupted the body’s natural defense system.
So what our moms have been telling us all along could very well be true – cold weather might just increase the risk that you catch a cold. (Of course, the research team warned that further tests needed to be done on humans, but now they have a hypothesis for future studies.)
So what can you do to keep you and your family healthy?
DripDrop ORS has medically-relevant levels of the electrolytes necessary to bring your body back into balance after periods of stress. Each serving has 110% the suggested daily dose of Vitamin C and 10% Zinc, which, when taken before the onset of a cold, have been shown to shorten it's length. DripDrop ORS can also be made with warm or hot water, to warm you up and fully hydrate you after a cold day outside.
Want more advice? These tips are good ones to remember, especially during peak cold & flu season!
1. Bundle up
The study’s lead author Aikio Iwasaki said that there might be some truth to the old wives tale – bundle up to prevent a cold – and covering the nose and face might be an effective strategy. This is especially important when temperatures are very cold, Iwasaki said, because the study found that the colder the temperature, the more susceptible the nose might be to rhinovirus.
2. Drink up
In addition to covering the nose, hydration is another important strategy for preventing colds. There’s evidence that dehydration can cause an increase in the body’s cortisol levels, a natural stress hormone. The heightened cortisol levels can suppress the immune system, making us more susceptible to colds.
3. Clean up
Finally, good hygiene is another important strategy for preventing colds. That includes regular hand washing and cleaning surfaces that people regularly come in contact with. This in addition to a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and zinc supplements are all recommended for preventing colds.