Does Drinking Alcohol Kill Cold Virus?

Does Drinking Alcohol Kill Cold Virus

There are a lot of myths surrounding drinking alcohol and the cold virus. In particular, the idea became prevalent during the recent pandemic. People were so frantic about catching the virus that it led most to believe drinking alcohol could be a preventive measure and, in some sense, a cure in itself. So where is this idea coming from?

There’s been a rumor that some alcoholic beverages like whiskey, for instance, are a home remedy for treating a cold.  The covid virus’s symptoms are much more like a common cold, so here’s where the logic is derived. If alcohol can prevent covid by rubbing it in the hands, it must also kill the cold virus by drinking it. It may be a joke to some, but some individuals were strong in their convictions. Well, it’s time we prove them wrong.

Debunking the Myth

What is Alcohol Used For?

The main basis of the belief that alcohol can treat colds is highly fallacious. Concluding that drinking and applying it in the hands has the same effect in itself defies the basic rules of logic. Alcohol, in its strictest sense, is only effective when used as a “topical disinfectant.” This means it has to be applied at a skin level which, in this case, could sound ridiculous if you’re going to drink it and then believe it’s going to cure colds afterward.

Alcohol-based disinfectants became very popular during the pandemic period as this has been scientifically proven to shield oneself and minimize the chances of the virus penetrating your body. Further, each solution should at least contain 70% of alcohol for it to be potent in preventing the virus from penetrating the human body. Before the covid era, however, highly sensitive facilities and hospital rooms such as the ICU have been practicing thorough disinfection, and the use of alcohol was already common.

Why is alcohol not effective when taken?

Does Drinking Alcohol Kill Cold Virus

There is a basic idea why alcohol has been really effective in preventing the virus from penetrating the human body but developing it during wet months is more likely to occur, which is why some other countries, particularly in the West, have their very own flu season. It’s the time of the year when the weather is more likely to help nurture the virus and help in developing a cold. Alcohol, when applied to the skin, helps dehydrate it, thus, killing any chances of cold and other related viruses such as covid from developing.

There is in no way a scientific explanation that can prove the efficacy of such a practice. As a matter of fact, drinking alcohol -the once used as a sanitizer- can even be fatal. There is only one alcohol that’s proven safe for human consumption, but this does not mean it’s safe if taken in volumes, and that is ethanol. This is the alcohol that is commonly found in alcoholic beverages, and we all know most of these beverages have a rather minimal percentage of alcohol per volume. So, following this logic, there’s really no sense in treating a cold virus by drinking alcohol.

Looking for the Most Common Remedy

The cold virus is one of the most common viruses in the history of man. Certain deadly pandemics, such as the Spanish Influenza and the recent covid pandemic for instance manifested as a common cold which later developed into a cough and caused serious damage to the respiratory system. Being a really bothersome illness with symptoms that can last a week or two among children, we all want to treat and avoid it as much as possible. It is but normal for people to look for means and remedies, most of which are accessible to them. So instead of just applying alcohol to the skin, it probably sounded better if this was taken instead.

Let’s Talk About the Good Side

You may have been dumbfounded if you were one of those who tried drinking alcohol to treat your cold or to help prevent the covid virus during the pandemic. This misconception is totally cool. Ignorance can be an excuse, but trying to look for other means rather than the ones provided by the experts is something else. This is purely a disregard for your very own responsibility towards your fellow man. It is so common that it has been given the name “common cold.” So, instead of trying ways with no scientific basis, let’s check out some of the best ways to treat the cold virus.

Increase your resistance against cold

A really low immune system can be fatal for one during the cold season. It all starts with one having low immunity to viruses, especially the cold virus; one can be susceptible to such vulnerabilities. Over-the-counter sources of Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid definitely aids in strengthening one’s immunity against the common cold. It doesn’t mean you won’t catch a cold, though, but your resistance will greatly help in terms of prevention.


Another very common and yet effective method is to drink plenty of fluids during a cold. It will help lessen the discomfort and can definitely aid your fast recovery. Drinking alcohol, however, is not by any means a part of rehydration, as alcohol in itself is a dehydrating agent. Fruit juices, the combination of honey and lemon, as well as lukewarm water, are highly recommended as means of rehydration as opposed to cold drinks, which can worsen the symptoms.

Rest Well

As your body recuperates, help it out by minimizing your body’s stress. If you’re part of the working class, give your body a break it deserves. Over-the-counter medicines can sometimes become less effective when taken without resting. Most doctors will most likely advise a patient to rest while taking medication to improve the recovery time.


We now know that drinking alcohol is not only ineffective but can also be fatal. There are more effective remedies other than this that have been proven safe and effective over time. Now that you know this, let’s be keen on observing the proper practices instead of using our very own bodies as test subjects for the rather unorthodox ways of treatment.

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