Chances are you've been sipping on orange juice in hopes of preventing or fighting a cold or flu ever since you were a kid. This makes sense because not only does orange juice provide your body with Vitamin C to boost your immune system, but your mom said it was a good idea, and moms know best right?
Well, I hate to break it to you but mom is wrong about this one.
Turns out, drinking orange juice is not the best way to get rid of a cold or flu. It could actually make you feel worse.
"It's fair to say that vitamin C supplementation both shortens duration of cold and offers some protection against colds, though it's not very dramatic," Stephen Lawson, a researcher at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, told Live Science.
So before you reach for a glass of the citrus drink, here are three reasons why health experts are now advising sick people to think twice before sipping:
1. The acidity
Contrary to popular belief, that burn you feel when the juice hits your sore throat isn't because the virus is dying. It's the high acidity of the juice that's setting your throat on fire, further aggravating the soreness by burning the inflamed membranes in your throat.
2. The sugar content
While there is no doubt that store-bought orange juice is a great source of Vitamin C, it also contains an alarmingly high amount of sugar. A 12-ounce glass of OJ contains 9 teaspoons of sugar, which is approximately the same as a 12-ounce can of Coke. Scary, right?
When you're sick, the last thing you want to do is increase your glucose intake. Sugar and Vitamin C use the same receptors in your body, so the more sugar you consume, the less your Vitamin C intake. Sugar also slows down your immune system, and reduces your kidney's ability to absorb the crucial vitamin, all of which will only make your condition worse.