Should I drink cold water with a sore throat?

This article may contain affiliate links. For details, visit our Affiliate Disclosure page.


Ah, the agony of a sore throat. That nagging, scratchy sensation that makes even a whisper feel like a Herculean task. When discomfort strikes, we often seek solace in a glass of water, a liquid companion that has long been hailed for its ability to quench our thirst. Yet, when confronted with a sore throat, the question arises: should we dare to indulge in the chilling embrace of cold water? Some swear by its numbing effect, while others shudder at the mere thought. In this intriguing exploration, we delve into the depths of this debate, uncovering the truths, myths, and potential benefits of sipping cold water while nursing a sore throat.

Should i drink cold water with a sore throat?

Understanding the Mechanics of a Sore Throat

To unravel the enigma of cold water’s impact on a sore throat, we must first understand the mechanics of this unwelcome affliction. A sore throat, medically known as pharyngitis, stems from inflammation of the pharynx—the passage connecting the back of our mouths to the esophagus. Common culprits behind this discomfort include viral or bacterial infections, allergies, dry air, and even excessive vocal strain.

The Case for Cold Water: Cooling the Flames

One school of thought advocates for the soothing qualities of cold water, claiming that its icy touch can provide temporary relief to a sore throat. The chilling effect may numb the area, dulling the sensation of pain and offering a brief respite from the persistent discomfort. Furthermore, cold water can help reduce inflammation, a key contributor to the soreness experienced in a swollen throat. By constricting blood vessels and diminishing blood flow to the inflamed area, cold water may aid in easing the painful symptoms.

However, it is crucial to note that while cold water might provide temporary relief, it does not address the underlying cause of the sore throat. A bacterial or viral infection, for instance, requires appropriate medical treatment, and relying solely on cold water may delay the healing process.

The Counterargument: Beware the Ice-Cold Temptation

While cold water may offer momentary respite, some caution against embracing its numbing allure when facing a sore throat. According to this school of thought, cold liquids can exacerbate throat irritation, potentially leading to further discomfort. Cold temperatures cause the muscles in our throat to contract, which can trigger a reflexive tightening of the vocal cords, resulting in a more strained and aggravated throat. Additionally, icy beverages may constrict blood vessels and impede proper blood flow, hindering the body’s natural healing process.

Moreover, cold water’s numbing effect might trick us into thinking the soreness has subsided, potentially leading to overexertion of the throat muscles. This false sense of relief could lead to excessive talking, shouting, or even singing, causing further strain and potentially prolonging the recovery time.

The Hydration Dilemma: Balancing Moisture and Cold

Regardless of the potential benefits or drawbacks, staying adequately hydrated remains paramount when nursing a sore throat. Proper hydration helps keep mucous membranes moist, preventing them from becoming dry and more prone to irritation. The dilemma arises in the choice between cold and warm liquids.

Some argue that warm fluids, such as herbal teas or broths, offer greater relief by soothing the throat and providing additional comfort. The gentle warmth can relax tense muscles, stimulate blood flow, and even help loosen mucus, making it easier to expel. On the other hand, proponents of cold water contend that the numbing sensation can temporarily alleviate pain and provide a refreshing sensation, aiding in overall comfort.

In reality, the choice between warm or cold liquids for hydration while combating a sore throat boils down to personal preference. Ultimately, the key lies in finding a balance between maintaining proper hydration and opting for a temperature that offers the most comfort.

Extra Measures: Accompanying Remedies and Practices

While the debate around cold water persists, there are additional measures one can take to alleviate a sore throat. Gargling with warm saltwater, for instance, can help reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief. Similarly, over-the-counter pain relievers, lozenges, and throat sprays can offer symptomatic relief. Additionally, practicing good vocal hygiene, such as avoiding excessive talking or whispering, maintaining proper humidity levels in your environment, and resting your voice when needed, can aid in a speedy recovery.


As the age-old debate of whether to indulge in cold water with a sore throat rages on, the answer ultimately lies within the unique nuances of our own bodies. While cold water may provide momentary relief by numbing the affected area, it’s important to remember that it is not a panacea for all sore throat woes. Consulting a healthcare professional is crucial, particularly if the sore throat persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms. So, when that nagging tickle settles in your throat, explore the soothing effects of cold water with caution and mindfulness, knowing that the quest for relief continues with every sip.

Should I drink cold water with a sore throat?
Scroll to top