Individuals do not necessarily burn more calories when battling the common cold unless a fever is present, according to Scientific American. Fevers raise the body temperature, which increases metabolism to burn more calories.
Fever is a natural method for the immune system to fight the infection, explains Scientific American. When the body is fighting a cold and a fever is present, as the temperature rises, the energy demand increases. For this reason, intake of food and liquids is often recommended as treatment because excess calories are naturally burned. The intake of healthy food is helpful to replace calorie loss and maintain a healthy energy level because the body quickly turns digested food into energy. An intake of liquids is also crucial as fever dehydrates the body's system due to increased sweating with an elevated temperature. Replacing lost fluids helps prevent dehydration and replaces calories burned due to the fever.
Eating more calories while battling a cold with fever also helps generate heat within the body and replenishes calories lost due to infection. The body naturally converts stored energy into fat to maintain warmth, but wearing extra clothes or covering in blankets is recommended until the infection has healed, according to Scientific American.