How to Fight Winter Colds with Simple Carbs 

Every day I hear some new theory about the dangers of simple carbohydrates. While I understand what the experts are trying to do, they forget that these foods exist in nature for a reason, and it’s in our best interest to find out why! 

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I have been dealing with a cold – mainly a scratchy throat and a cough. It is annoying to be sick, but about two days into this, I realized that there could be some good to come out of my misery. And I finally realized what it is: to help people understand the BENEFITS of simple carbohydrates! 

Yes, you read that right – there are benefits to eating simple carbohydrates. 

What do carbohydrates do? 

Carbs, as you may know are the easiest macronutrient for your body to break down and use for energy. When you’re not recovering from a cold, limiting them (especially the simple ones – white bread, rice, cake, etc.) is a great way to get healthy and stay healthy. If you do get sick, however, the number of simple carbs you eat every day should double or triple, depending on the severity of your symptoms! 

Why should you double/triple the simple carbs you eat? 

Did I freak you out by telling you to double your carb intake? Good, that means you’re open to hearing why. 

Carbohydrates are an important part of your healthy life because they contain three of the most vital elements our bodies are made of: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.  In this instance, hydrogen is the key element. 

Hydrogen and ATP production 

Anyone with a background in biology will tell you that ATP is the body’s energy source. This molecule captures the chemical energy that was produced as your body broke down the food you ate and distributes that new energy to the cells that need it most. 

This is transfer of energy is done through the influx of hydrogen ions, which the precursor to ATP needs in order to build more of this crucial enzyme. So, the more carbohydrates you eat when you’re sick, the more hydrogen can be used to create more ATP and the more energy your body will have to fight off the infection so you can feel better faster!!! 


Think about the last time you were sick and how much food you ate. How did you feel on an empty stomach versus a full one? 

During these last few days, I was utterly miserable when I didn’t have much food to eat. I would have to take two or three cough drops an hour to calm my cough. However, when I went to the grocery store and bought some carb-heavy comfort foods and gave myself time to rest after eating I noticed my symptoms became less severe. 

What do you think about my theory of doubling or tripling your carbohydrate intake when you’re sick?