Does Coffee Help Sore Throat? (Or Does It Worsen It?)

Are you feeling under the weather? Perhaps you’re experiencing a cold, and with that cold inevitably comes the irritating feeling of a sore throat.

A sore throat might happen for many reasons, infections, yeast, cold, or allergies. But having coffee, tea, soda, or acidic drinks can make the throat drier and increase the pain.

Coffee alone won’t cure the sore throat. It might even make it worse.

Coffee contains a diuretic effect that could dry your mouth and cause dehydration. Dehydration upon sore throat makes you feel more ill and is unsuitable for you if you are fighting with a bad throat. Dehydration can also delay the recovery process.

Heath experts would advise you to cut down coffee during a sore throat. However, this does not mean you can’t have your coffee.

For daily drinkers, it can be hard to let coffee go, even for a day or so. It is suggested to keep the coffee limit low and drinking lots of water to keep the throat moisturize to speed up the healing process. 

Keep reading to find out more.

Can you Drink Coffee With a Sore Throat?

someone sipping on a cup of coffee

You can drink coffee with a sore throat but that doesn’t mean you should. This is because coffee contains high amounts of caffeine that can make your throat dry. With a sore throat, you need to keep yourself hydrated, but coffee does the opposite. Drinking coffee with a sore throat might make it worse so it’s best to just avoid it.

The streptococcus bacteria can cause strep throat leading to loss of appetite, headaches, nausea. Continuous intake of your daily coffee is acceptable only if you can tolerate the warmth of coffee.

Coffee is acidic, with a pH level ranging from 4.85 to 5.10, which, just like alcohol drinks and citric fruits, can irritate the throat.  I wrote an article about the acidity of coffee and you can read it here if you’re interested.

Coffee doesn’t have the same effect on everyone and depends upon person to person. One should observe how coffee affects you and when you need to limit the amount accordingly.

You can also speed up recovery when you replace sugar in your coffee with honey. Honey has antimicrobial properties and uses as a cough suppressant. 

Which is Better For a Sore Throat: Hot or Cold coffee?

coffee in a plastic cup next to coffee in a mug

Cold drinks can help calm the nerve endings in a sore throat thus relieving pain, however hot drinks have a much better impact on a sore throat as they induce salivation, causing the throat to be more lubricated. This study shows how a hot drink can helped 30 patients achieve relief with their sore throat.  

That said, anything with caffeine or is highly acidic, is advised to be avoided.

However, if you really can’t help it and you need that caffeine kick, you can try adding honey to a hot cup of coffee and enjoy your drink.

Hot drinks do have a soothing effect on a sore throat. You can take beverages at a lukewarm temperature. But try to avoid burning food which can esophagus and provoke thermal burn to the lining of throat tract. 

Again as I said, it depends upon person to person. Some people also get a high temperature with a sore throat. If you also feel hot and sweaty, you need to avoid hot coffee because its temperature can make you feel hotter. You can take your daily dose of a hot cup of joy once your fever subsides.

People with strep throat should completely cut off coffee and other hot drinks because hot beverages can raise the temperature more.

Similarly, cold drinks such as iced coffee can relieve the soreness in your throat. Your throat gets swollen because of strep. Cold coffee can help tighten the swollen blood vessels and relieve the pain. 

If you feel like you should avoid coffee, you can also make milkshakes, soups, and carbonated drinks as an alternative to cold coffee. What matters is the cold temperature of the drink and not the drink itself. 

Can Coffee Cure Sore Throats?

A person holding a cup of coffee

Coffee can’t cure sore throats, in fact, it can probably even worsen it, especially if the coffee of your choice is high in caffeine. But you can add a little bit of honey on your coffee and have it every eight hours, it might just do the trick.

You might hear about how good honey is for overall health. One of its many health benefits is to act as a natural suppressant, especially when served in drinks: coffee, tea, or water. Honey antimicrobial properties fight viruses and bacteria.

According to a Primary Care Respiratory Journal study, coffee mixed with honey is better than a placebo or other medication for the throat. Drinking coffee and honey mixture after every eight hours for a week can cure the coughing and sore throat.

You can drink coffee to calm the usual sore throat, but you should worry a little if you have strep throat. It’s best to see a doctor on time and take your coffee to safe limits. If you take a warm cup, make sure coffee is warm and not extremely hot because it can worsen the conditions.  

Here are some quick home remedies to fix your sore throat at home:

Lemon and Honey WaterProvide Vitamin C to help overcome cold
Chamomile TeaReduce inflammation in the throat
Peppermint TeaReduce swelling and give a soothing effect
Warm SoupProvide key nutrition and calm the pain
Cold Smoothie Boost immune system that fights against infection
Homemade Drink to cure sore throat

What Kills Sore Throats Fast?

Garlic can kill sore throats fast. This is because this flavouring agent has antiseptic properties that can aid in fighting bacterias and infections.

If you have symptoms of strep throat, allergic, post-nasal drip, all of these can be tied into each other—these symptoms are caused by infection and bacteria. To cure the symptoms, you can obtain OTC like Allegra and pair it with Flonase. Gargling with Listerine can also help faster the recovery process. One should drink plenty of fluids. If you are having fevers and the mucus is yellow-green, see your doctor for antibiotics.

That’s for OTC, but you don’t need to run toward the pharmacy every time you feel a sore throat. First, try some home remedies that might cure the sore throat without medicine.

Sugar Syrup and Garlic

The combination might sound weird to you, but this homemade cough syrup effectively gets the job done. Chopped some raw garlic and add sugar syrup, or you might replace it with honey.

Watch this video for a ginger tea recipe by GST Kitchen – Recipes for Happiness to cure sore throat.

According to assistant professor Josephine Dlugopolski Gach of Loyola University Health System, garlic and honey have antimicrobial properties that help ward off infection. This homemade syrup also coats the throat that relieves the pain. 

Another study show garlic extract can help calm strep throat. A compound in garlic called Allicin inhibits the group A streptococcus that causes strep throat. 

Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water, broth, juices, and soups. These liquids will moisturize your throat and keep it lubricated. Plus, this will clear your mucous membrane, throat and prevent further infection. 

Don’t forget to take all nutrients to boost your immune system.

You can also try:

  • Chamomile tea
  • Peppermint tea
  • Warm soup
  • Well-cooked vegetables
  • Scrambled eggs 

To Conclude

The average amount recommended by the FDA is around 400mg, but if you have a sore throat, you need to cut it down more. You can drink 2-3 cups of coffee to reduce the sensitivity.

Excessive caffeine promotes dryness in the throat due to the stimulant’s diuretic effects. When you have a sore throat, the best thing to do is to keep it well moisturized, hence why you should drink lots of fluid.

Drinking a lot of fluid can help keep your throat moisturized. You can also try home remedies like using garlic, lemon, ginger, turmeric, and honey; these substances help your throat recover fast. 

If you really can’t go a day without your coffee, you can try adding honey in the mix and take it with your coffee. As long as you don’t drink it consecutively, it might even help cure your throat.

I suggest, unless you need your daily caffeine fix or get some work done, it’s better to withdraw from it and rest your throat for a speedy recovery.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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