Is Coffee Good for a Sore Throat? Benefits and Home Remedies

is coffee good for a sore throat

Are you a coffee addict like me, but also cursed with the misfortune of catching a cold every time a new season rolls around? Well, let’s explore the question I’m sure we’ve all had: can coffee actually help with a sore throat or cough? I’ll share some home remedies and tips for making your coffee-drinking experience better during the cold season.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But isn’t coffee supposed to dehydrate you? And won’t that just make my throat feel worse?” Well, the answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. But don’t worry, we’ll break it down in a way that even the most coffee-addled brains can understand. So, grab a tissue, take a sip of your coffee (or tea, I don’t discriminate), and let’s get into it!

Coffee can provide temporary relief from the symptoms of a sore throat by reducing swelling. The warmth calms your throat, and you can add honey or take it with aspirin to help even more. However, it’s not a cure or treatment for the underlying illness causing the sore throat, and the caffeine may cause dehydration and make it difficult to rest.

Key Takeaways

  • Drinking coffee may help alleviate some symptoms of a cough and cold, but it can also worsen symptoms because it’s dehydrating.
  • Adding honey or milk to coffee can help soothe a sore throat, and it may be best to opt for decaf or cold-brew coffee to reduce the risk of aggravating symptoms.
  • Try other home remedies, such as drinking warm lemon water, using a humidifier, and getting enough rest.
  • It’s important to consult with a doctor before using coffee or any home remedy as a treatment for a cough and cold. Read more for additional tips and considerations on using coffee to manage cough and cold symptoms.

Can Coffee Help with a Cough and Cold?

As someone who loves coffee as much as life itself, I’ve always wondered if it could help me with more than just waking me up in the morning. Could it actually help me feel better when I’m feeling under the weather?

Well, turns out coffee actually helps reduce swelling and pain in my throat when I’m battling a cough or cold. Plus, the warmth of the coffee can feel really soothing on a sore throat, especially if you’re drinking it hot.

Also, did you know that caffeine increases the effectiveness of common pain relievers? Some studies show that caffeine can help ibuprofen and aspirin in treating cold and flu symptoms. Another study found that coffee can help fight off bacteria. I guess it makes sense why I sometimes feel my cold symptoms reduced when I have my daily coffee.

Of course, it’s important to note that these studies are still fairly limited. There’s no guarantee that coffee will actually make you feel better when you’re sick… But hey, it’s worth a shot, right? And even if it doesn’t do much in terms of actual symptom relief, at least you’ll have a delicious drink to help soothe you (and your taste buds).

Benefits of Drinking Coffee with a Cough and Cold

Okay, so we’ve established that coffee might be helpful when you’re dealing with a cough or cold. But what exactly are the benefits of drinking it? Well, for starters, I already mentioned that coffee can help reduce swelling and bacteria in your throat. And let’s be real… when you’re battling a sore throat, any bit of relief is welcome.

But wait, there’s more! You can also add a little something extra to your coffee to make it even more effective at soothing your symptoms. Adding a spoonful of honey can provide additional relief for sore throat symptoms. 

If you really want to kick things up a notch, you can take an aspirin and wash it down with your coffee. Aspirin is a common pain reliever that can help ease your cold and flu symptoms, and adding it to your coffee can make it even more effective. It always helps me feel a little better, just use it sparingly. As always, make sure it’s okay to use with any other meds you might be taking.

Now, you might be wondering if hot coffee is really the best choice when you’re dealing with a sore throat. After all, doesn’t hot tea have a reputation for being the ultimate soothing beverage? Well, while tea can certainly be helpful, there’s actually a case to be made for hot coffee. 

Because coffee is a bit stronger and more acidic than tea, it can help break up mucus and provide more immediate relief. Plus, the warmth of the coffee can feel really soothing on a sore throat. So go ahead and reach for that cup of joe. Just make sure to avoid any crazy flavors with lots of sugar that might aggravate your symptoms.

Alternatives to coffee for cough and cold relief

But what if you’re not a coffee drinker? Or what if you’re looking for other options to add to your cold-fighting arsenal? Don’t worry, there are plenty of other beverages that can provide relief.

First up, there’s good old-fashioned water. Hydration is key when you’re battling a cold or flu. It keeps your mucus membranes moist and makes it easier to breathe! Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day. If you’re looking for something with a little more oomph, you might try sipping on some warm lemon water. Lemon can help with swelling, and the warmth of the water can feel really soothing on your throat.

But what about tea? As I mentioned earlier, tea is often seen as the ultimate soothing beverage for cold and flu symptoms. And there are plenty of options to choose from. If you’re dealing with a cough, you might try chamomile tea, as it can help relax your airways and ease coughing. And if you’re dealing with congestion, peppermint tea might be your new best friend, as it can help open up your sinuses.

Risks of Drinking Coffee with a Cough and Cold

Well, I guess it’s time to talk about the dark side of our beloved coffee. As much as I hate to admit it, we have to consider some downsides of coffee when it comes to dealing with a cough and cold.

First of all, let me warn you that coffee can be dehydrating. And just trust me, dehydration is not something you want when you’re already feeling like crap. Also, caffeine can cause jitteriness and disrupt your sleep, which is crucial for recovering from any sickness. I learned this the hard way when I had a cold one time. I decided to chug three cups of coffee in the morning, only to spend the rest of the day feeling even more exhausted and wired at the same time. I don’t want that same fate for you, so remember that!

Another risk is that coffee can irritate an already inflamed throat, making your sore throat even sorer. If you have acid reflux, coffee can make it worse and lead to heartburn. 

The bottom line is, coffee may be a great way to kick-start your day when you’re not feeling well. But, take into consideration all of these cons before you start chugging it. 

Strategies for reducing the negative effects of coffee

The good news is that there are many ways to help reduce the negative effects of drinking coffee while you’ve got a cold. 

First off, if you’re a die-hard coffee fan like me, try adding a spoonful of honey or a dash of milk to your cup. This can help soothe your throat and make the coffee a little less harsh on your already sensitive pipes.

But if you’re finding that hot drinks are just making your throat feel worse, try a cold drink instead. Ice water, juice, or even iced coffee can provide relief to a sore throat without the added irritation of heat. The extra hydration can help loosen up congestion.

Of course, there are also plenty of home remedies that can help alleviate your cough and cold symptoms. From chicken soup to humidifiers, there are a variety of tried-and-true methods that can provide relief. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you. And as always, if your symptoms persist or worsen, be sure to consult with a medical professional.

Additional tips and tricks for relieving cough cold symptoms

Drink plenty of fluids! You need to stay hydrated as much as possible. Drink water, tea, or soup, to keep your body hydrated and help loosen up any congestion. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some ginger or honey to your tea for an extra boost of relief. I personally love the way it makes my throat feel when I’m sick.

Another great way to relieve a stuffy nose is to use a saline nasal spray. It’s a simple and natural way to clear your nasal passages and ease your breathing. And if you’re feeling fancy, you can even make your own saline solution at home with some salt and water.

Last but not least, don’t forget to rest and take care of yourself. Sometimes all you need is a good night’s sleep to help your body fight off that pesky cold. So snuggle up with a blanket, binge-watch your favorite show, and let your body do its thing. Before you know it, you’ll be back to your old self and ready to take on the world again.

Additional Considerations for Drinking Coffee with a Cold

So, what else should you think about before using coffee to ward off your cold symptoms? 

Let’s start with decaf coffee. Decaf coffee has significantly less caffeine than regular coffee. So, it might be better to drink decaf if you’re planning on sleeping off your sickness. But, you’ll be missing out on the added effectiveness that caffeine gives to any aspirin you’re taking. At the end of the day it’s up to you, but just keep that in mind.

Now, let’s talk about your coffee’s temp. If you’re dealing with a sore throat, you might find that warm or hot drinks feel better on your throat than cold drinks. So, hot coffee might be the way to go. However, everyone’s different, and you might find that cold drinks actually feel better on your throat. If that’s the case, go for an iced coffee instead.

Lastly, when it comes to different types of coffee, you might want to look for coffee that has less acidity. Some people find that highly acidic coffee can be tough on their throats, especially if they’re dealing with a cough or cold. 

Additionally, you might want to try making coffee with a French press or pour-over method. These methods typically result in a smoother cup of coffee with less acidity than coffee made with a traditional drip coffee maker.


Overall, I’ve experienced a lot of benefits when I drink coffee when I have cough and cold symptoms. But, that’s not to say it’s for everyone. On one hand, it may provide relief for a sore throat by calming swelling. On the other hand, the caffeine in coffee can dehydrate the body and make it difficult to rest, which isn’t great when you’re fighting off illness.

If you do choose to drink coffee while sick, it’s important to consider the type of coffee and how it’s prepared. It’s also important to stay hydrated and consider drinking other warm or hot liquids, such as tea or soup, to help alleviate symptoms.

Most importantly, remember that everyone’s body is different and what works for one person may not work for another. Consult with a doctor or healthcare professional before making big changes. While coffee may provide temporary relief for some symptoms, it’s not a substitute for proper medical care.

In conclusion, if you’re feeling under the weather, reach for a warm cup of coffee with honey or milk for a potential throat-soothing effect. That being said, always remember to prioritize your overall health and seek medical advice if your symptoms persist or worsen.

Christopher Mize

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