How to Get Rid of a Cold Fast?

You’ve woken up one day with a sore throat and a stuffy nose. “It’s that pesky cold again,” you think to yourself. You don’t have two weeks to sleep it over, so you wonder, how to get rid of a cold fast?
Getting rid of a cold isn’t something you can do instantly. However, you can decrease both the duration and the severity. Rely on vitamin C, zinc, honey, fluids, and good nutrition. Follow that with enough rest and good exercise. You’d be surprised how less severe your cold will be.
That being said, some people still believe there’s a way to sleep one night and wake up fine. Is that possible?

Can You Get Rid of a Cold Overnight?

Unfortunately, there’s no magical way where you could get rid of the cold overnight. That’s not how things work. The common cold is a viral infection. When a body gets infected, the virus multiplies in the cells before the body even begins an immune response. Once your body finds the virus, your immune system takes some time to eliminate the threat. This reaction time will vary depending on how healthy your immune system is. However, it will never be under 24 hours. Your body can’t react that fast to a cold infection. On the other hand, you can help your body deal with the cold.

How to Reduce the Duration of a Cold?

We have four recommendations for you to help you reduce the duration of your cold:

Take Vitamin C

We always associated Vitamin C with protection against diseases. It’s one of the most effective nutrients you can give to your body. Vitamin C strengthens your immune system, improves wound healing, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. You can get vitamin C from fruits and vegetables like oranges, cantaloupe, red cabbage, and green pepper. You could also get vitamin C supplements.

Take Zinc

A 2017 review of studies concluded that zinc could speed up the recovery process from the common cold by up to 33%. However, the doses in these studies were higher than the 92 mg/day that the NIH recommends. Nevertheless, it won’t harm you if you take zinc supplements. Note, however, that, unlike VItamin C, zinc could reduce the effectiveness of some medications. It’s better to consult your doctor before taking zinc.

Eat Honey

Honey is a fantastic home remedy that will never harm and will always help. A 2012 study found that honey reduces coughing and improves sleeping. Honey also relieves the most annoying symptom of the common cold; sore throat. Take one large spoon of honey before bed and watch the magic happen.

Drink Plenty of Liquids

Drinking liquids can do wonders against a cold to reduce fever and congestion. The more liquids you consume, the faster your body can cool down from its fight with the cold virus. Liquids also reduce the congestion in your chest and nose so you can breathe a little easier. Of course, water comes on top of our liquid recommendations, followed by warm beverages like tea, chicken soup, and bone broth.

How to Reduce the Symptoms of a cold?

Here are four more suggestions to reduce the severity of your cold symptoms:

Take Warm Showers

A warm steamy shower will open your nasal airways and help you breathe better. The water vapor you inhale will also reduce the congestion. Consider adding a few drops of peppermint oil to furtherly increase the opening of the airways.


Giving your body time to rest is necessary. It becomes even more vital when your body is fighting a cold. Most of us don’t get the recommended 7 - 8 hours of bed rest. If you don't sleep enough when you're healthy, you should change this now. Try to get enough sleep through the period of infection. It will recharge your body enough to fend off the infection.

Have Regular Exercises

There’s often confusion between resting and omitting exercises. You shouldn’t stop your exercises to “rest” while fighting the cold. Exercises improve blood circulation and body functions. This will lead to better vitality and more resistance against infections. However, care should be taken not to over-exercise. If you fatigue your body, it will have the opposite effect. You’d be helping the infection to spread more if your body is tired.

Have Some Medicine

When we speak of medicine, we mean OTC pain relievers. Try acetaminophen and paracetamol. These over-the-counter drugs are generally safe to use. It will never hurt to consult a physician, but generally, these drugs are guaranteed to ease the pain and reduce some congestion. Avoid antibiotics unless you have a problem with your immune system. Even then, don’t take antibiotics unless recommended by your doctor. Antibiotics work against bacteria. Cold is a virus. The misconception is to avoid opportunistic bacterial infection that could happen alongside the viral infection. Most of the time, you don’t need to take antibiotics for that. Your body will handle the infection just fine on its own.

How to Prevent a Cold?

Before we can learn how to stop it, we should learn how it happens. The common cold virus is an airborne microorganism. This organism enters our bodies when we inhale it, after which it reproduces and causes the infection. This virus travels better through the air when the temperatures are low. This is why we get it mostly in the winter.
If you want to reduce the chances of this happening, then follow these simple instructions:
  • Keep your hands clean using soap and water
  • Don’t put your hand on your face when you’re outside
  • Have a balanced diet rich in nutrients
  • Don’t wear light clothes in the cold
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages
  • Exercise and sleep enough


So, how to get rid of a cold fast? First and foremost, it’s important to know that you won’t just snap and it will go away. You have to reduce the duration of the infection and the severity of the symptoms. Provide your body with adequate rest, good exercise, liquids, and nutrition.
The cold may last for a while, but the reduced symptoms will make it a lot more bearable.
Remember, nothing is better than preventing the infection before it even happens. Keep your hands clean and keep your distance from people if either of you is infected.