Food probably isnt the first thing on your mind when youre battling the flu or a stomach bug.

But you have to fuel the tank eventually, and what you choose to do so matters: Some foods and drinks out there can make you feel even worse. (The Mens Health Better Man Project can provide even more tips on how to live your healthiest life.)

Here, 9 foods and beverages you should avoid when youre sick so you can feel better faster.

#1. FOOD TO AVOID WHEN YOURE SICK: COFFEE

When you should skip it: You have any type of illness, but especially a stomach bug.
Why it makes you feel worse: The caffeine in coffee is a diuretic, so it can make you pee a lot and leave you dehydrated.

Related: 11 Reasons to Have a Cup Of Coffee Right Now

Thats bad news when youre battling a virus or other infection, since getting enough hydration helps your immune system fight more effectively, says Kristine Arthur, M.D., an internist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.

Caffeine is even worse when youre dealing with vomiting or diarrhea, since both can cause you to lose fluid. Taking in extra caffeine on top of that will only make that dehydration worse.

Plus, caffeine can actually stimulate the muscles in your digestive tract and make your diarrhea more intense, Dr. Arthur says.

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#2. FOOD TO AVOID WHEN YOURE SICK: ORANGE JUICE

When you should skip it: You have a cough or sore throat.
Why it makes you feel worse: Orange juices tart acidity is usually refreshing. But when you have a cough or cold, it can hurt your throat.

It contains citric acid, which irritates the lining of your already-inflamed throat, says Taz Bhatia, M.D., professor of integrative medicine at Emory University and author of What Doctors Eat.

That means your throat will hurt more and take longer to heal.

#3. FOOD TO AVOID WHEN YOURE SICK: SWEETS

When you should skip it: You have any type of illness, but especially a stomach bug.
Why it makes you feel worse: Eating refined sugar can temporarily suppress your white blood cells ability to fight off bacteria, says Dr. Arthur.

For a few hours after snacking on cookies, candy, or sugary cereal, your immune system is weaker.

As a result, its less efficient at fighting off the germs that are making you sick.

Refined sugar poses even more of a problem when youre dealing with a stomach bug.

Sugar tends to pull fluid out of the GI tract, which can lead to loose, watery stools and diarrhea, Dr. Arthur says.

#4. FOOD TO AVOID WHEN YOURE SICK: SODA

When to skip it: You have any type of illness, but especially a stomach bug.
Why it makes you feel worse: Like coffee, caffeinated sodas are dehydrating.

And theyre loaded with sugar that suppresses your immune system and messes with your GI tract, says Dr. Arthur.

If water just isnt appealing, try a lower-sugar drink with rehydrating electrolyteslike a sports drink or coconut water, says Dr. Arthur.

Diet soda is off-limits, too.

Many artificial sweeteners are large molecules, which cant be broken down and digested well, Dr. Arthur says. That can cause bloating, cramping, and even diarrhea.

Related: Can You Really Lose Weightand Keep It OffUsing Sugar Substitutes?

In other words, it just makes whatever stomach symptoms youre already experiencing even worse.

#5. FOOD TO AVOID WHEN YOURE SICK: CRUNCHY SNACKS

When to skip them: You have a cough or sore throat.
Why they make you feel worse: The abrasive texture of snacks like potato chips, granola, or even crispy toast will feel like sandpaper on your raw throat, Dr. Bhatia says.

Related: Why You Cant Say No To Salty Snacks When Youre Stressed

And it doesnt just feel lousy: The more you irritate your throat, the longer itll take to heal, too. So you might end up actually prolonging your misery.

#6. FOOD TO AVOID WHEN YOURE SICK: ALCOHOL

When to skip it: You have any type of illness, but especially a stomach bug.
Why it makes you feel worse: Alcohol, like coffee, is a diuretic that can worsen illness-related dehydration, Dr. Arthur says.

And since youre probably already dehydrated to begin with, your blood alcohol content will rise faster. So the booze will hit you harder than usual.

Related: 6 Surprising Things That Get You Drunker, Quicker

Alcohol can also speed up digestion, causing watery stool or diarrhea, Dr. Arthur says.

#7. FOOD TO AVOID WHEN YOURE SICK: MILK

When to skip it: You have stuffiness and congestion.
Why it makes you feel worse: You might have heard that you should avoid dairy when youre sick because it makes you produce more mucus or phlegm.

But thats not completely true. Theres no clear evidence that reducing milk will reduce mucusits mostly anecdotal, Dr. Arthur says.

However, some people find that dairy makes their phlegm thicker and more unpleasant, she says.

If it bothers you, go ahead and cut it out until youre feeling better.

#8. FOOD TO AVOID WHEN YOURE SICK: FRIED OR FATTY FOODS

When to skip it: You have a stomach bug.
Why it makes you feel worse: Fatty foods take longer to move through the digestive system, which can make nausea worse and trigger acid reflux, Dr. Bhatia says.

And because they also trigger muscle spasms in your intestinal tract, they can make diarrhea worse.

Save the burger and fries for when youre feeling better.

#9. FOOD TO AVOID WHEN YOURE SICK: SPICY FOODS

When to skip it: You have a runny nose.
Why it makes you feel worse: Chili peppers and hot sauce get their heat from capsaicin, a compound that can irritate your nasal passages and make your nose run.

So if youre already drippy and runny, all that heat will only make the water works worse, Dr. Bhatia says.

On the other hand, if youre stuffed up, it might break up your mucus so youre temporarily less congested.

This article originally appeared on MensHealth.com.

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