Alcohol: kills 99.9% of germs!
There’s a nasty misconception out there that goes something like this: when you’re sick, your body’s filled with viruses and bacteria. Alcohol kills those things, so drinking alcohol will kill the pathogens in your body and help restore your good health.
Unfortunately, your blood alcohol content would have to be over 60% for that to be even remotely true. So you’d be disinfected for sure... but you’d also be dead. Leave the antiviral power of alcohol to cleansing wipes, not a fifth of whiskey.
Your immune system needs to focus
Dr. Kathy Gruver, nutrition and stress specialist, warns that alcohol can weaken an already overloaded immune system. In spite of what your brain might think, your body treats alcohol as a toxin, and prioritizes metabolizing it over all other substances. Even on your best days, your body can only metabolize about 1oz of alcohol per hour. Any more than that, and your system’s left fighting off both the sickness and the alcohol, making for a slower recovery.
Your liver might need a break
What do infections and alcohol have in common? Much like alcohol, “Many bacterial and viral illnesses will cause abnormalities to liver functions,” according to Dr. Jeffrey Lederman, an MDVIP-affiliated internist. Sorry if that’s not the answer you were hoping for.
Routine blood tests can reveal if your liver’s acting up during sickness. If so, Dr. Lederman doesn’t recommend drinking any alcohol while recovering. And if blood tests aren’t at your immediate disposal, Dr. Lederman advises that alcohol be kept to an absolute minimum for safe measure (double sorry).