Does Coffee Help A Sore Throat? (Can It Make It Worse?)

Coffee does not cure sore throats but it also doesn’t make it worse. You can certainly have coffee even with a sore throat, but know that it won’t cure your sore throat nor will it make it worse. But the caffeine from the coffee when drunk 8 to 10 hours before bed can make you a bit anxious when you have a sore throat.

The world is slowly but surely becoming addicted to coffee. Which I personally don’t think is a bad thing. Coffee has caffeine which helps get you out of bed and can also improve your overall mood. Many people love to have their early morning chocker before they head to their respective work., but when you have the bug, is it safe to consume coffee?

Let’s find this out together. 

Can You Drink Coffee If You Have A Sore Throat?

palms full of medicine

Coffee doesn’t help nor make it worse when you have a sore throat so, you can have coffee. But coffee can dehydrate you, which is bad for sore throat, so if you’re going to have coffee, make sure you couple it with water.

There are billions of coffee drinkers around the world. And in America alone, 62% drink coffee every day. Huge numbers, right?

Coffee is an all-natural beverage that doesn’t contain many additives. It comes from a plant and contains many goodies for us humans.

Coffee is jam-packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants help us fight and get rid of toxins in our bodies. Plus, it helps lower the risks of many diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

So, can you drink coffee if you have a sore throat?

You see, in general, a sore throat is characterized by pain or scratchiness in the throat, which gets worse when swallowing. Colds and flu are among the most common causes of sore throats. A virus-induced sore throat usually goes away on its own. And an infection caused by bacteria, such as strep throat (streptococcal infection), requires antibiotic treatment to prevent complications.

More complex treatment may be required for other less common causes.

Symptoms of sore throat include:

  • Soreness in throat
  • Problem in breathing
  • Painful swallowing
  • Bodyaches
  • Coughing
  • Scratchiness in throat
  • Nausea
  • Fever

And by drinking coffee none of the above-mentioned symptoms really get affected. But do keep in mind that coffee has caffeine which can make you a bit more anxious than usual and can also dehydrate you. Whenever you’re sick, there’s grogginess that occurs and you become restless so drinking coffee 8 to 10 hours before bed can make you anxious.

Which Is Better For Your Sore Throat: Hot Or Cold Coffee?

Drinking cold coffee can soothe the inflamed tissues, but hot beverages can soothe you and help you relax.

A sore throat can be quite irritating, to say the least. Especially if it is accompanied by body pains and a fever. You might feel like eating comfort food which is absolutely fine. As long as you feel good. But what about coffee?

Well, coffee is no exception. If you’re habitual of drinking coffee in the morning, there’s no need to stop that. Coffee is actually an anti-inflammatory. When you’ve got a sore throat, the tissues in your throat are swollen and make it really hard for swallowing anything. And when you drink cold coffee, it can soothe those issues a bit. For example, when you get bruised, your mother usually puts ice packs on the spot to help the inflammation, right? The same mechanism works for sore throat.

Cold coffee, or any cold drink for that matter, can help relieve the soreness in your throat.

a cup of cold coffee with ice

So, what about hot coffee? Isn’t that good for your sore throat?

You see, hydration is very important when you’re sick. Because your body is already fighting a virus or bacteria it can easily get dehydrated and weak. So, drinks like water, coffee, and even tea are very good for your sore throat.  

They provide essential nutrients, antioxidants while keeping your throat and body from drying out. According to Professor Eccles from Medical News Today, sweet hot drinks elevate the release of the brain’s natural pain killers opioid, therefore, you feel an immediate soothing effect.

He conducted a study on 30 patients who had a sore or strep throat and gave them hot fruit drinks every day to drink. And they reported that they had long-lasting and almost immediate relief from their sore throat.

So, if you were to choose between hot coffee or cold coffee, you should definitely have hot coffee.

Here I’ve made the table of the top 5 Starbucks coffee’s which include cold and hot coffees. The caffeine content is for a 12 oz cup.

Starbucks CoffeesCaffeine Content
Caramel Macchiato75 mg
Caffe Mocha95 mg
Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew145 mg
Caramel Frappuccino 60 mg
Salted Caramel Cold Brew145 mg

Can Coffee Dry Your Throat?

Drinking coffee can dry your mouth and throat. The tannins found in coffee and caffeine both are responsible for drying your mouth and throat.

Coffee is a drink that is very complex by nature. It contains a lot of compounds like caffeine, tannins, quinines, and much more. But the most active and prominent compound in coffee is caffeine. Caffeine does a lot of things once it enters your body. Primarily it gives you an instant boost of energy and elevates your mood.

It gives an electrifying jolt of energy which is necessary to get us through our tough schedules. But this same caffeine can dry your mouth easily. Foods that have caffeine and tannins like good quality wine, tea, and coffee, all have the ability to dry your mouth.

Partially, the caffeine does it, and the other half is done by the tannins. Tannins are compounds that are naturally found in coffee and are responsible for the brown tan and bitter astringent flavor of the coffee. Tannins can easily cling themselves to any proteins and minerals. When you drink coffee the tannins cling onto the saliva in your mouth and throat and stop further production. Thus, making your throat dry.

And the best way to combat this is to have a glass of water ready when drinking coffee.

What Kills A Sore Throat Fast?

The top 5 ways to kill a sore throat fast are by gargling with hot water and salt, drinking chicken soup, sipping herbal teas, honey lemon tea/water, and ginger ale.

Sore throat is a common problem that happens mostly around winter times. Though it’s very common, it can be irritating and make you feel terrible. There are plenty of ways to get rid of a sore throat but here are my top 5 to help you kill sore throat almost instantly.

Hot Water and Salt Gargling

Using saltwater to gargle relieves pain and inflammation in the throat. By introducing them to the surface of the throat, irritants are brought to the surface of the body, where they can be expelled more easily. Water also helps maintain a clean throat because it contains antibacterial properties. You can gargle with salt and water for about two to three minutes.

Chicken Soup

You’ll find that chicken soup is packed with proteins, antioxidants, and amino acids that can boost your immune system. As well as being high in gelatin, it soothes the back of the throat and reduces discomfort when swallowing.

Sore throats can be treated with chicken broth made with garlic. The drink hydrates and nourishes the body, while reducing congestion in the nasal passages.

3 bowls of variety of chicken broth

Herbal Teas

A sore throat can be relieved by several types of herbal tea. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of green tea and clover tea help fight against infections. Berry and chamomile teas can relieve irritation in the throat by acting as natural lubricants. Tea with peppermint can also be used to treat a sore throat, as it numbs the throat and eases pain.

Lemon and Honey Water

Natural antibacterial and pain-relieving properties are found in a mixture of lemon juice and honey. When combined with lemon juice, honey relieves throat swelling and breaks up mucus, while lemon juice relieves pain.

In addition to being rich in Vitamin C, lemons also boost your immune system, which helps fight infections. Take a sip of tea or hot water after adding two tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of lemon juice.

Ginger Ale

A natural antihistamine, ginger reduces swell and congestion in the throat. In addition to removing excess mucus from the throat, ginger has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties. Make your own fresh ginger tea or ginger ale with real ginger.

Have a look at this video to know how to make your own homemade ginger ale:

The Bottom Line

Sore throat is a very common problem to have especially in winters. But as many people rely on coffee as their daily caffeine fix, they might be concerned if they can still drink it with a cold.

It’s absolutely safe to drink coffee. It does not speed up recovery but it also does not make it worse. Whether you prefer drinking hot or cold coffee, they both can bring temporary relief to a sore throat. Though hot coffee is more preferred.

Plus, coffee can dry your throat so it’s recommended to drink a big glass of water after enjoying your morning cuppa. Other things that can relieve sore throat fast include, ginger ale, chicken soup, etc.

Marty Spargo

Caffeine aficionado and coffee student (if there's such a thing!). I've come to love coffee in recent years and share what I learn along the way on this website.

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