6 Foods You Should Never Eat When You’re Sick

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Here are six foods and beverages you should avoid when you’re sick so you can feel better faster.

1. COFFEE
When you should skip it: You have any type of illness, but especially a stomach bug.
Why it makes you feel worse: The caffeine in coffee is a diuretic, so it can make you pee a lot and leave you dehydrated.

That’s bad news when you’re battling a virus or other infection, since getting enough hydration helps your immune system fight more effectively, says Kristine Arthur, M.D., an internist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.

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Caffeine is even worse when you’re dealing with vomiting or diarrhea, since both can cause you to lose fluid. Taking in extra caffeine on top of that will only make that dehydration worse. (Find out how drinking too much caffeine affects your body.)

Plus, caffeine can actually stimulate the muscles in your digestive tract and make your diarrhea more intense, Arthur says.

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2. ORANGE JUICE
When you should skip it: You have a cough or sore throat.
Why it makes you feel worse: Orange juice’s tart acidity is usually refreshing. But when you have a cough or cold, it can hurt your throat.

“It contains citric acid, which irritates the lining of your already-inflamed throat,” says Taz Bhatia, M.D., professor of integrative medicine at Emory University and author of What Doctors Eat.
That means your throat will hurt more and take longer to heal.

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