1

Take Zinc

Photo: Gabriela Medina/Getty

Using a lozenge with zinc acetate or zinc gluconate every couple of hours while symptoms last might shave two days off a cold, a 2012 review indicated.

We like: Nature's Way Zinc Lozenges, $7 on amazon.com


2

Sip Chicken Soup

Photo: Dominic Perri

It's not merely an old wives' tale: The comfort food staple really can help relieve cold symptoms, according to a University of Nebraska study. 

Need some recipe inspiration? You can't go wrong with our classic chicken-and-noodles version, but if you enjoy Southwestern flavors, try Chicken-Tortilla Soup instead. Or, if you have more of an appetite, whip up a big bowl of this hearty, savory Chicken Dumpling Soup.


3

Try Vitamin C

It likely won't prevent a cold, but a review of 29 trials found that taking C daily as soon as you feel the first symptom might reduce your downtime by about 8 percent. You need about 1,000 milligrams per day.

We like: Vitamin C By Nature's Bounty Supplement Tablets, $11 on amazon.com



4

Hoard Z's

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As you sleep, your immune system releases cytokines, proteins that combat infection. Getting enough shut-eye consistently also helps you prevent sniffles in the first place.