A woman lying in bed while suffering the flu symptoms while sneezing into her tissue.

Influenza, or flu, is a contagious respiratory illness that typically affects your throat, nose, and lungs. The flu impacts millions of people yearly, and symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Today, we will discuss the three main stages of flu: incubation period, acute illness, and recovery. Each step of the flu recovery timeline contains slightly different symptoms, which may help you know what you should do to best care for yourself throughout the illness, and when you should seek medical care.

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The Stages of Flu Recovery

The stages of the flu serve as a roadmap for what people can expect from the moment they are first exposed to the virus up through recovery.

The incubation period of the flu describes the period between exposure to the virus and developing flu symptoms. The incubation time can vary slightly from person to person, but the general incubation period for the flu is between one and four days, with the average being two days.

Many factors can determine the length of the incubation period, such as:

  • The concentration and amount of the virus contracted
  • The way that the virus enters the body
  • The pre-existing immunity of a person (i.e. if a person is immunocompromised, if they have had a flu vaccine, etc,.)

Symptoms may start gradually over a day or two. Symptoms may include:

  • Body aches
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Stuffy nose
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

The acute illness phase is when you’re in the heart of the sickness. You may still experience all of the classic flu symptoms that started during the incubation period, or you may develop additional symptoms during this time. Typically, the symptoms last for two or three days, but some severe coughs may linger for several weeks.

During recovery, your body is in the healing process. For some people, the recovery stage starts around day six of the illness but may take up to two weeks, depending on the severity of your condition. Most of your symptoms should have subsided, but you may have some lingering mild symptoms. Resting and drinking plenty of fluids are still critical to help you regain health.

How to Speed up Flu Recovery

Throughout the day, your immune system is hard at work to keep you healthy. While flu recovery takes time, there are a few home remedies you can use to help speed up the process.

It’s important to note that learning how to handle the flu will be a different experience for each person. While some can recover in days, it can take others weeks before feeling back to normal. Utilizing the remedies mentioned below can help ward off the flu in a shorter time frame while minimizing the symptoms during recovery.


Your body requires rest for recovery. You may have small bursts of energy at different stages of flu recovery, but remember that you’re still sick and need to ease back into physical activity. Some people struggle to rest enough, especially during the last stage of flu recovery.

If you have trouble getting enough rest while sick with the flu, here are some helpful tips for getting enough rest:

  • Sleep alone so that you can get comfortable without disturbing someone or potentially getting them sick.
  • Prop yourself up so that you can breathe better and reduce coughing.
  • Eat or drink something warm to help soothe your throat.
  • A steamy shower or a hot bath to relax your body.
  • Take flu medication to relieve symptoms long enough to fall asleep.
  • Avoid alcohol, as it can cause sleep disruption and can slow down your recovery

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated when you are sick with the flu is one of the most effective pathways to your body’s recovery. However, dehydration is your adversary when battling the flu. You may not feel like drinking, so you may have to get a little creative to stay hydrated.

Tips for staying hydrated when you are sick with the flu:

  • Keep a bottle of water nearby to sip throughout the day
  • Try other clear liquids such as broth or sports drinks
  • Use a straw or squeeze bottle if you’re too weak to drink
  • Consider setting a timer to ensure that you remember to drink
  • Sip soup for hydration and calories
  • Eat ice chips or popsicles

Home Remedies

You’ll find a long list of home remedies at your disposal when it comes to the flu. While some are bound to work better than others, you won’t have any trouble finding something practical for you.

Herbal Teas

A go-to choice for many people, hot tea can help keep some of the persistent side effects of the flu at bay. You’re more than welcome to choose any tea you like, but a few options that are known to help include green and black tea.

If you want to give it a little added strength, consider including a bit of honey as well. This can help with how to survive the flu when dealing with an onslaught of uncomfortable symptoms.

Steam Inhalation

Your environment can positively or negatively affect your recovery process. One easy way to make yourself a bit more comfortable is by surrounding yourself with steam. There are several methods to this, such as sitting in a bathroom with a hot running shower.

Another option is to fill a pot with hot water, put your face over the steam, and put a towel over your head. This can help to loosen up mucus, making it a bit easier to breathe.

Gargling Solutions

An easy solution that only takes a few seconds, gargling warm salt water offers more benefits than you might expect. While it may not taste the best, salt water can help bring liquids to the surface, including bacteria and viruses in your throat. It isn’t an instant fix by any means, but it’s a good way to fight against the effects of the virus.

Stay Comfortable

The influenza virus tends to make you feel physically uncomfortable, both internally and externally. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single solution that helps with every bit of discomfort. Everyone’s idea of how to survive flu season is bound to vary, but there are multiple ways to make yourself as comfortable as possible until the virus dissipates.

Managing Fever

A fever is a common part of the process of dealing with the flu. While most people’s body temperatures stay within a certain range, a fever can become a big health concern if left unchecked. Staying hydrated and taking acetaminophen medications can help keep your body temperature down while you work through how to survive a flu virus.

Dealing With Body Aches

Another unavoidable aspect of the flu is persistent body aches. This tends to feel like it’s all over your body, and most people will try anything to mitigate this particular sensation.

Here are a few ways you can manage body aches when you have the flu:

  • Taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen medications
  • Self-massaging different areas of the body
  • Staying hydrated all throughout the day

Body aches stemming from the flu can be very persistent, or they might come and go throughout your day. The tips mentioned above require consistent application, as the body aches likely won’t stop until the virus is out of your system.
Caring For a Sore Throat
The severity of sore throat symptoms during the flu can range from mild to extreme. Regardless of the severity, a sore throat is never a comfortable experience, as you’re constantly reminded when you eat and every time you swallow.

Drinking hot tea with honey is a good start, and you can gargle salt water as well. Lozenges can be very helpful, too, as they soothe the throat, offering temporary relief while you work through how to handle the flu at home.

Handling Congestion

Another common symptom of the flu virus is congested sinuses. This can make it much more difficult to breathe and even cause physical pain in the face if it’s bad enough. While there isn’t always an immediate fix for this, you have plenty of options for managing it.

Once again, hot steam can be very helpful in this situation. It can aid in reducing pressure in your sinuses and loosen mucus at the same time. Your nose might run a bit, but that’s better than not being able to breathe at all. Of course, over-the-counter decongestant medications are always an option on top of other home remedies.

Manage Symptoms

Effectively managing your flu symptoms allows your body to recover as the virus runs its course through your body. While you still may not feel your best, managing the symptoms can help you get some much-needed rest.

Some general symptom management tips include:

  • Take over-the-counter medications to relieve fever, cough, and congestion
  • Suse a humidifier to help keep nasal passages open and reduce coughing
  • Cough drops to help soothe the throat and reduce coughing
  • Get plenty of rest to help with recovering from flu fatigue
  • Stay hydrated


There are currently four FDA-approved medications for the flu. Each of these medications requires a prescription from a doctor.

In addition to these, over-the-counter cold and flu medications, anti-inflammatories, throat lozenges, and other home remedies can also help alleviate your symptoms.

Recovery IV Treatment

recovery vitamin cocktail iv bagA Recovery IV Treatment may promote a faster flu recovery time. The ingredients found in this treatment include:

As you can see, the benefits of the vitamins and minerals found in the Recovery IV Treatment may help the reducing symptoms and help get you back to feeling your best.

When is IV the best option?

Contact our offices and our team of medical professionals led by founders Dr. Abe Malkin and Dr. Neal Kumar, will answer your queries.

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Understanding what the body goes through during each stage can help you better prepare for treatments that can help you feel better. Getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and understanding your recovery strategy are the ideal ways to recover and heal your body when you are sick with the flu.

Flu is a virus that people face throughout the year, and one of the most effective prevention strategies is by getting a flu vaccine. Speak with your doctor to learn more about the flu shot’s benefits and other prevention methods that can help you stay healthy.

In-Home Recovery IV Treatment With Drip Hydration

Our exclusive Recovery IV Treatment is designed to help you recover from the flu quickly. Our recovery vitamin cocktail IV bag is enriched with essential nutrients like B-Complex Vitamins, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Lipostat (MIC), and Glutathione.

You can either browse our other treatment options and decide which is best for you or speak to a representative who can help you choose what you need based on your health goals. To schedule your appointment or learn more, contact us today!

Recovery IV - Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in our Recovery IV treatment?

Our Recovery IV Treatment contains B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Lipostat Plus and Glutathione Push. 

How does a Recovery IV treatment speed up flu recovery?

Recovery IV treatments can help speed up the recovery from the flu by providing the body with essential fluids, electrolytes, and medications that can help reduce symptoms and support the immune system. The fluids can help to hydrate the body and replace any fluids that may have been lost due to vomiting or diarrhea, while the electrolytes can help to balance the levels of minerals in the body and support proper muscle and nerve function. The medications provided through the IV can help to reduce inflammation and pain, as well as support the immune system in fighting off the flu virus.

How does a Recovery IV treatment help athletes perform at their best?

Recovery IV treatments can help athletes perform at their best by providing the body with essential fluids, electrolytes, and nutrients that can support the body's natural recovery processes and improve physical performance. The fluids help hydrate the body, while the electrolytes can help to bring back the balance of minerals in the body and support proper muscle and nerve function. The nutrients such as amino acids and vitamins, can help to support muscle repair and rebuilding, reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, and support the immune system.

How does a Recovery IV treatment help post workout muscle recovery?

Recovery IV treatments can help with post-workout muscle recovery by providing the body with essential fluids, electrolytes, and nutrients that can support the muscle repair and rebuilding process. The fluids can help to hydrate the body and replace any fluids that may have been lost through sweat during the workout, while the electrolytes can help to balance the levels of minerals in the body and support proper muscle function. The nutrients provided through the IV, such as amino acids and vitamins, can help to support the muscle repair and rebuilding process and reduce muscle soreness and fatigue.

Read More: Recovery IV FAQ


[1] Batista KS, Cintra VM, Lucena PAF, et al. - The role of vitamin B12 in viral infections: a comprehensive review of its relationship with the muscle–gut–brain axis and implications for SARS-CoV-2 infection, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 80, Issue 3, March 2022, Pages 561–578, https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuab092;