Contrary to popular belief, you should never reach for that can of Sprite, or any other soda, when you’re sick. It’s actually something that’s best avoided all of the time. In fact, some nutritional experts say it’s as bad as smoking cigarettes.

If you don’t want to give it up completely, at least do it when you’re ill. All of that sugar, and caffeine (if you’re drinking Coke or other caffeinated sodas) is not only dehydrating, but suppresses the immune system and wreaks havoc with your GI tract. Staying hydrated is important, so you should drink plenty of water, but if plain water is too unappealing, try sipping an herbal tea, water with a squeeze of lemon or coconut water. Don’t, however, switch to diet soda as it may be even worse due to the artificial sweeteners that aren’t digested well and can cause cramping, bloating or diarrhea.


Fried foods
Fried foods are particularly bad if your stomach is upset as they take longer to move through the digestive system. That can make problems like nausea or diarrhea worse, and trigger acid reflux.

High sugar foods
Consuming sugar foods can suppress your white blood cells’ ability to fight off bacteria. It also weakens the immune system for hours after eating it, which means your body will have a hard time battling the germs that made you sick.

Dairy products
If you have a cold or congestion of any type, milk and other dairy products should be avoided as it causes the body to produce more mucus, and it can make phlegm thicker and more uncomfortable to deal with.

Alcohol is very dehydrating as it’s a diuretic and can worsen any illness-related dehydration. It’s especially bad if you’ve got a stomach bug and it can contribute to diarrhea.