What's the Best Juice for Colds?

Freshly squeezed orange juice
Orange juice is filled with vitamin C, which can help in your fight against the common cold. (Image: Westend61/Westend61/GettyImages)

The cold is a common affliction that often makes people miserable, with people in the United States plagued by more than one billion colds each year, often including sneezing, runny noses, coughs or headaches.

While there is no cure for the cold, high doses of vitamin C may help limit a cold's duration. Drinking juices high in vitamin C may also help if you have low levels of the vitamin. The efficacy of vitamin C on a cold, however, does vary from one person to the next.

Tip

Drinking juice when you have a cold can help you stay hydrated and may help ease your sore throat. To help your body fight off a cold, include juices rich in vitamin C, such as orange juice, grapefruit juice, and tomato juice.

Orange Juice for Extra Vitamin C

Orange juice is a good source of vitamin C and, as it provides support for your immune system, it is potentially helpful during a cold.

A 1-cup serving of raw orange juice has 124 milligrams of vitamin C, which is more than 100 percent of the recommended dietary intake for the vitamin. Vitamin C is also a natural antioxidant, which helps protect your body’s cells from damage or death.

Pink or White Grapefruit Juice

Grapefruit juice, like orange juice, is a source of vitamin C, although it does not have as much vitamin C as orange juice. There are two types of grapefruit juice: pink and white.

A 1-cup serving of pink grapefruit juice has 94 milligrams of vitamin C per serving, while the white grapefruit juice has 87 milligrams of vitamin C per cup. This provides over 100 percent of the RDI of vitamin C for adults and pregnant women — but not for breastfeeding women — who require 120 milligrams.

Low-Sodium Tomato Juice

Tomato juice, unlike grapefruit or orange juice, is not a juice you can easily make at home. When buying canned tomato juice, choose one with no added salt to reduce the amount of sodium you take in.

A 1-cup serving of tomato juice has 170 milligrams of vitamin C, making it a better source of the cold-fighting nutrient than either orange or grapefruit juice.Tomato juice also contains some vitamin A, which, as a natural antioxidant, may also provide immune support to your body during a cold.

Lemon Juice for Flavor

Lemon juice is another citrus juice that is a good source of vitamin C. However, because it is more sour-tasting than either grapefruit or orange juice, it is best if you drink it diluted with water or blend it with other sweeter juices.

A 1-cup serving of lemon juice has a little more than 94 milligrams of vitamin C. This provides about as much vitamin C per serving as grapefruit juice does, although you need to add at least 1 cup of water to the juice before you can drink it. But getting the extra water with the juice may help you stay hydrated too.

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