There are few things as comforting as a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning. But what if you have a sore throat? Can you still drink coffee? Or is it better to steer clear of caffeine when you’re not feeling well? Here’s what you need to know about coffee and sore throats.
Is Coffee Bad for a Sore Throat?
It’s probably fine in small doses.
Caffeine can help numb your throat, which might be the only way you’re able to get some sleep when you’ve got a sore throat. “For patients with viral pharyngitis (sore throats due to viruses), caffeine may provide symptomatic relief, which can make it easier to get some rest,”
“It’s certainly not going to be bad for you in small doses. But if the only way you can get any sleep is by drinking something with caffeine in it just before bed, then that’s probably not a good choice.
The Downside of Coffee When You Have Sore Throat?
Coffee can be dehydrating.
The caffeine in coffee is a diuretic, which makes you urinate more, and the increase in urine takes away fluids from your body. So if you’re drinking caffeinated beverages to help temporarily relieve pain or discomfort associated with a sore throat, you might not be doing yourself any favors.
Caffeine and alcohol consumption can lead to further dehydration in patients who already demonstrate some deficit”. That’s because a sore throat may cause you to feel less thirsty than usual, which is why it’s important to drink plenty of water.
The Best Foods and Drinks for Sore Throat
It is recommended to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Liquids like water, broth, or warm lemon water are best for your sore throat. Caffeine will not help you heal faster, but it can cause dehydration by making you lose more fluid than normal through urine production. If you do want to add caffeine, try something like black tea. You can add honey or lemon to the beverage if you need a sweetener, and drinking it warm will soothe your throat.
What Not to Eat When You Have Sore Throat
Greasy or spicy foods may exacerbate your symptoms.
Greasy, fried, or spicy foods can further irritate the lining of your throat, so avoid them while you have a sore throat. The same goes for very sweet food and beverages. In some cases, citrus fruits can also worsen your symptoms because of their acidity levels.
In some cases, citrus fruit can worsen your symptoms because of its acidity levels.
If you are concerned about your favorite hot drink or food ingredients, check labels to see whether they contain sugar substitutes like aspartame or saccharin. The sugar substitute xylitol has been shown to have antimicrobial properties that help fight off oral bacteria that cause sore throats.
You should also avoid alcohol since it’s a diuretic like caffeine and will worsen your dehydration symptoms. It is best to wait until your throat has healed before drinking alcoholic beverages again.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Difference Between Caffeine and Decaf Coffee?
“Decaf coffee does not remove caffeine. It is decaffeinated through a process that removes some of the caffeine content, but not all of it”.
How Much Caffeine is Safe for Treating a Sore Throat?
Unfortunately, there is no established safe limit of caffeine intake specific to sore throat sufferers. However, some online sources recommend limiting your intake to 200 mg or less per day.
Is It Bad That I Consume More Caffeine When I Have a Sore Throat?
“Caffeine intake will not help you recover faster or make your symptoms go away sooner. It may cause dehydration, which could potentially slow down your recovery time”.