Is Coffee Good for a Sore Throat?

As an avid coffee lover and enthusiast, I am always exploring how my favorite beverage interacts with our health and wellness. Today, I’m keen to address a question that has been brewing in the minds of many: “Is coffee good for a sore throat?”

Let’s address the elephant in the room first – there isn’t a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this question. The relationship between coffee and a sore throat is complex, and it hinges on numerous factors. These include your body’s response to coffee, the overall state of your health, and even the type of coffee you choose to sip.

The Basics of Coffee and Sore Throat

Coffee: A Quick Overview

Coffee, as you probably know, is a beloved beverage consumed worldwide, cherished for its delightful aroma and its ability to perk us up with its caffeine content.

Sore Throat: What You Need to Know

A sore throat, on the other hand, is a common ailment characterized by pain, itchiness, or irritation in the throat, often exacerbated when you swallow.

Why Do People Consider Coffee for a Sore Throat?

When it comes to relieving a sore throat, people often turn to home remedies, and coffee is no exception. Its warmth, combined with its soothing properties, makes it a popular consideration for many.

Is Coffee Good for a Sore Throat?

The Pros: How Coffee May Soothe a Sore Throat

Coffee, when warm, might offer some temporary relief. The warmth can soothe your throat, providing immediate albeit short-term relief. Lets take a closer look:

The Pros

-Pain relief:  A widely known perk of coffee is its caffeine content. Not only does it wake you up, but caffeine can also act as a mild pain reliever. Caffeine, a key component of coffee, has analgesic properties. This means it could help to alleviate the pain associated with a sore throat, at least temporarily. Some over-the-counter medications even include caffeine due to its pain-relieving properties. Therefore, a cup of coffee could potentially provide some relief to the discomfort caused by a sore throat.

-Increased alertness: When you’re feeling under the weather, the stimulating effects of coffee can make you feel more alert and less bogged down by your symptoms.

-Mucus reduction: Coffee can help reduce mucus build-up, which often accompanies a sore throat. By decreasing the mucus, coffee may provide some relief from coughing and congestion.

-The Power of Antioxidants: Coffee is known to be a rich source of antioxidants, which are beneficial for overall health. They can boost your immune system and fight off harmful bacteria, which could potentially aid in a faster recovery when you have a sore throat

The Cons: The Drawbacks of Drinking Coffee with a Sore Throat

However, coffee is a diuretic, which means it might make you urinate more, potentially leading to dehydration—a condition you’d want to avoid when nursing a sore throat. Lets take a closer look:

The Cons

-Dehydration: One of the most important remedies for a sore throat is to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, coffee is a diuretic, meaning it can lead to increased urination and potential dehydration. Dehydration can make a sore throat feel even worse. That being said, coffee generally doesn’t cause dehydration as we covered in another article. When dealing with a sore throat though, it can be better to stay on the side of caution.

-Acid reflux: Coffee, especially when consumed in large amounts, can lead to acid reflux, a condition that involves stomach acid moving up into the esophagus. This can irritate and worsen a sore throat.

-Irritation: Coffee is a highly acidic beverage. This could potentially aggravate your sore throat by causing further irritation to your already inflamed throat tissue. For some people, this could cause more harm than good.

-Disrupting Your Sleep: Caffeine can disrupt your sleep, and good sleep is essential for recovery when you’re sick. If your sore throat is part of a cold or flu, you need to ensure you’re getting enough rest, and consuming coffee, especially late in the day, may interfere with this. If you really want coffee with a sore throat, it can better to stick to less caffeine with decaf coffee.

The Power of Warm Beverages

Warm beverages in general, not just coffee, can soothe a sore throat. The heat helps alleviate pain and reduces inflammation, providing comfort. Lets take a closer look:

Warmth Equals Comfort

There’s something inherently comforting about sipping on a warm drink when you’re not feeling well. The warmth can help soothe a sore throat and even alleviate some of the pain. In fact, a study published in the journal Rhinology found that hot drinks provided immediate and sustained relief from symptoms of a cold and flu, like a sore throat, chills, and fatigue.

Hydration is Key

When you have a sore throat, it’s essential to keep your throat moist and prevent dehydration, which could make your symptoms worse. Warm beverages, like coffee, play a crucial role in maintaining hydration. It’s important to note, though, that while coffee can contribute to your daily fluid intake, it shouldn’t be the only source due to its diuretic effect.

Loosening Up Mucus

One of the significant benefits of warm drinks is their ability to loosen up mucus. Thick mucus can exacerbate a sore throat, but drinking something warm can help thin out the mucus, making it easier to swallow and clearing up your throat.

Benefits of Steam

Let’s not forget about the benefits of steam. The steam from a hot drink can provide further relief to a sore throat by moistening the dry and irritated throat tissue. This can help reduce the itchiness and discomfort that often accompanies a sore throat.

So, while coffee, being a warm beverage, can help soothe a sore throat, other hot drinks such as herbal teas or warm water with lemon and honey might also be worth considering. The choice will depend on your personal preference and what makes you feel most comfortable when dealing with a sore throat.

Alternatives to Coffee for a Sore Throat

If you have a sore throat, there are other beverage options you might want to consider:

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas, such as chamomile or peppermint, are natural, soothing, and hydrating. They can help ease a sore throat and don’t have caffeine.

Honey and Lemon

A classic remedy—honey and lemon in warm water. Honey coats the throat and has antibacterial properties, while lemon can help break up mucus.

Warm Broths

Chicken or vegetable broths are not only comforting but also hydrating. Plus, if you’ve lost your appetite, they provide essential nutrients.

Finding Your Perfect Beverage Solution

While coffee might not be the best remedy for a sore throat, it doesn’t mean you need to avoid it entirely if you’re a coffee lover like me. The key is balance and listening to your body. Also be sure to read about drinking coffee after a tooth extraction if you have one coming up.

How to Make Your Coffee More Soothing for a Sore Throat

If you still want to enjoy coffee when dealing with a sore throat, consider adding some honey for its soothing and antibacterial properties. Also, make sure your coffee isn’t too hot to avoid irritating your already-sensitive throat.


To sum it up, coffee isn’t necessarily harmful to a sore throat, but there are other more effective and hydrating remedies available. As a coffee enthusiast, my advice is to drink coffee in moderation, stay well-hydrated, and soothe your throat with some tried and true remedies. For additional coffee health information, we have an article answering “Does coffee stain your teeth?”. We also cover the debated topic “Does coffee make you short and impact height?”.


Is it bad to drink coffee with a sore throat?

Coffee isn’t necessarily bad for a sore throat, but due to its diuretic properties, it may not be the best choice when hydration is important.

Can coffee soothe a sore throat?

The warmth of the coffee can provide temporary relief, but it’s not a remedy for a sore throat.

What is the best drink for a sore throat?

Hydrating, caffeine-free beverages like herbal teas or warm water with honey and lemon are great for a sore throat.

Does caffeine affect a sore throat?

Caffeine can provide temporary pain relief but it’s also a diuretic which can lead to dehydration, something to be avoided when you have a sore throat.

How can I make my coffee more soothing?

Consider adding honey to your coffee for its soothing and antibacterial properties. Also, ensure your coffee is warm, not hot, to avoid irritating your throat further.

Coffee Guide 101

Brian Summers

My initial goal to brew the best possible homemade coffee and learn everything coffee related has since evolved into a commitment to share my findings with as many coffee lovers as possible.

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