Did you wake up with pain in your throat? Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is if you can drink your morning cup of Joe.
So, is coffee good for sore throat? Although there are pros and cons to drinking coffee with a sore throat, coffee does have benefits in relieving sore throat symptoms and reducing inflammation. However, the subject is more complex.
I checked all medical facts regarding drinking coffee with a sore throat during my extensive research. Today, I will tell you about:
- Pros and cons of drinking coffee with a sore throat
- Ways to customize your coffee so it’s beneficial for sore throat
- Other drinks that can help you with treating throat inflammation
And while you’re here, check out our overview of morning coffee benefits.
Now, let’s dig in!
What Is Sore Throat?
According to experts, sore throat is one of the most common health complaints, especially when the weather gets cold. If your throat is painful, burning, and scratchy, it might indicate a sore throat. Other sore throat symptoms may include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling of tonsils
- Runny nose
A sore throat is usually caused by a common cold or viral infections like flu. However, other culprits can cause it too, such as:
- Strep throat
There are several ways to treat sore throat, depending on the cause. However, before treating it on your own, look for advice from a healthcare professional.
Generally, you should get a lot of rest, keep your throat moist, and drink plenty of fluids. Home remedies such as gargling warm salt water could be beneficial, too. But don’t forget to seek medical attention if it gets more serious.
Is Coffee Good For Sore Throat?
So, will a cup of coffee help a sore throat? There are pros and cons, and we will go through each of them.
Potential Benefits Of Coffee For Sore Throat
There are a couple of ways coffee can be beneficial both for temporary relief and overall health when you have a sore throat:
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Studies show that coffee has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce low-grade inflammation in your throat and benefit your overall health. However, there is evidence that coffee might not have the same health benefits for everyone, so pay attention to your symptoms and stop coffee consumption if necessary.
- Pain reduction: According to studies, caffeine has an analgesic effect. It blocks adenosine receptors that are responsible for pain. This way, caffeinated beverages, including coffee, may help ease throat pain.
- Soothing effect: Warm liquids, including coffee, may have a soothing effect on your throat and reduce throat irritation. That is because fluids generally promote salivation and help lubricate the throat; if they’re hot, they also soothe the pain.
Drawbacks Of Coffee For Sore Throat
Coffee intake can also have its downsides when it comes to treating symptoms of a sore throat:
- Dry mouth: Coffee contains tannins, which can cause your mouth and throat to feel dry. That is not a comfortable feeling if you have a sore throat since your throat is already dry and irritated. It would be best always to drink plenty of water to make your throat feel hydrated and moisturized.
- Diuretic effect: While coffee won’t seriously dehydrate you, it still has a diuretic effect and might cause frequent urination and make you lose more fluid than usual. However, large amounts of coffee can cause slight dehydration and cause a general feeling of dryness. Hydration is essential for sore throat since it thins mucus secretions and soothes your irritated throat. Staying hydrated is vital for your immune system, so refrain from drinking too much coffee and consume enough water.
- Effects of caffeine: As you know, caffeine intake causes mental alertness, which is great when having a busy day. However, if you are in your bed sick with a sore throat, caffeine content might not be your best friend. Since it can disrupt your sleep and prevent you from resting, it’s not a great recovery choice. An alternative would be a decaf coffee.
Which Types Of Coffees Are The Best For Sore Throat?
If you have decided to stick with your cuppa regardless of your sore throat, certain types of coffee can be more beneficial for your condition.
Iced coffee for sore throat? It might sound counterintuitive, especially after saying that hot drinks soothe the throat. However, hear me out.
Cold drinks can have their benefits for soothing sore throat. Cold coffee may decrease your throat’s pain, swelling, and inflammation. It’s because cold causes blood vessels to narrow and numbs the painful area.
That’s why doctors sometimes recommend popsicles and ice chips for sore throat. However, you brew your favorite iced coffee instead. Check out our guide on how to make iced coffee for detailed instructions.
As I mentioned above, cold drinks can soothe sore throat. Why not make some cold brew coffee to help you with that?
Regular coffee might be too acidic, and that acidity can irritate your tonsils and throat and worsen your condition. However, cold brew is less acidic because of its brewing method, and it can be a great choice when you desperately need your cup of Joe while having a sore throat.
If you decide on cold brew, check out our top picks of the best cold brew coffee brands for inspiration.
If you want to keep yourself from being alerted, decaf coffee can be an alternative. Although it lacks caffeine, decaf coffee is still packed with antioxidants like regular coffee. That means it will help similarly fight the inflammation while not giving you jitters.
However, a decaf cup of Joe will lack the analgesic effect since this one comes from caffeine. To brew a great cup of decaffeinated Java, check out our top picks of the best decaf coffee beans.
Coffee With Honey
It is proven that honey has numerous health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can relieve sore throat symptoms and is a natural cough suppressant.
Adding honey to your Java may not only have health benefits, but it will also enhance the taste of your drink. Although it has more calories than sugar, it’s still considered a healthier alternative, partly because it’s sweeter, so you don’t have to put as much to sweeten your coffee. Also, it has a lower glycemic index, which means it raises blood sugar levels slower than sugar.
Plus, it contains numerous vitamins and minerals and is less processed. Besides health benefits, honey adds a unique zing to your coffee in terms of taste. Different types of honey will bring specific floral notes and customize your brew.
To know more about honey in coffee, check out our extensive overview.
Coffee With Licorice
This might sound like an unusual combination, but it’s actually great for sore throat. Licorice is a plant root with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits and can treat sore throat.
Mix the licorice powder with your hot coffee and enjoy your flavored beverage. However, stick with the recommended doses since licorice can have negative effects if you take too much of it. The thing is that its main compound, glycyrrhizin, can be possibly unsafe if consumed in large doses for a long time.
The recommended dose is a maximum of 4.5 grams daily for up to 4 months.
Coffee And Aspirin
If you are taking Aspirin for your throat pain, you should know that combining it with coffee can be more effective. One study showed that the Aspirin-caffeine combination is more effective for patients with acute sore throats due to tonsillopharyngitis than Aspirin alone as an analgesic.
Still, we recommend consulting your doctor regarding using medicines and their contraindications with caffeine.
Drinks For Soothing A Sore Throat
Apart from coffee, numerous other drinks can be beneficial for soothing your sore throat. Some of them have even more benefits than coffee. Let’s take a look.
Besides soothing your sore throat, chamomile tea boosts your immune system and improves sleep quality. These benefits help you get your rest and aid in recovering.
To make chamomile tea, boil some water and steep chamomile tea bags or flowers for 5-10 minutes. If you want the finest tea, check out our list of best chamomile tea brands.
Ginger tea can work magic for your sore throat and overall health. It can relieve the pain in your throat. Studies show that ginger can reduce the production of pro-inflammatory markers and, therefore, reduce inflammation.
To make ginger tea, cut up about 1tsp of peeled ginger root and boil it in water for about 10 minutes. Then, steep it for another 10. You can add some honey for extra sweetness and nutrients.
If you don’t have fresh ginger root, check out our guide on how to make a ginger drink with ginger powder.
Nothing refreshes and soothes the inflamed throat like some fresh mint tea. Besides it’s refreshing, the mint has numerous health benefits. It may reduce tension headaches and migraines, common companions of sore throat.
Also, mint can soothe pain, relieving the burning sensation in your throat. Steep fresh or dried mint leaves (or a tea bag) in hot water for 10 minutes, and you will get yourself a cup of mint tea. For more recipe variations, check out our guide on how to make fresh mint tea.
Smoothies are a great way to boost your health, moisturize your throat, and hydrate. Also, it can be a great alternative for a meal if you don’t have an appetite when you’re sick. This way, you can consume fruits rich in nutrients quickly, easily, and tasty.
When it comes to the ingredients of your smoothie, the choice is all yours. Different fruits can have different benefits, but most are packed with vitamins and minerals that can boost your immune system. Antioxidant-rich fruits that you can blend to fight the sickness may include strawberries, blueberries, spinach, kale, and mango.
If you are indecisive about coffee vs smoothie choice, check out our guide to help you pick.
Warm soup is an old-school but effective remedy for sickness. Besides the warmth that can soothe your throat, it’s an easy way to get some nutrients when you don’t feel like eating. It helps you stay hydrated and consume tasty and nutritious vegetables and proteins.
However, remember that I speak about natural homemade soup, not the one you make from a bag.
A sore throat doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite morning ritual. Coffee can benefit sore throat because it has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation. Also, caffeine blocks adenosine receptors that influence pain to soothe that burning sensation in your throat.
However, coffee can have a diuretic effect and make you lose more water than usual. That’s why it’s essential to drink plenty of water along with your coffee when having a sore throat.
Finally, if you give up on drinking coffee for the time being, other great drinks can soothe your sore throat and boost your immune system, such as different kinds of teas, smoothies, and soups.
Having some gut problems? If you think that your cup of Joe is the culprit, we answer the question – why does coffee upset your stomach – in our article.