Q: Is Cold Water Bad For A Sore Throat? (Hot Or Cold? Which Is Better?)


Cold water is frequently recommended as a sore throat treatment, but is it actually effective? Although it's a common misconception, sipping cold water can really soothe the throat and lessen irritation. In fact, consuming cold liquids might aggravate a sore throat by irritating the lining of the throat even more. In order to make sure that you are taking the best possible care of your sore throat, it is crucial to comprehend why this is the case. Continue reading to find out what alternatives there are and why cold water might not be the greatest solution for a sore throat.


Cold water can worsen a sore throat and should be avoided.

  • Cold water can cause the throat to constrict, making it more difficult to swallow.
  • Drinking cold water can reduce inflammation in the throat, but this is only temporary.
  • Warm liquids like tea or broth are better for soothing a sore throat.

Try warm liquids instead of cold water to help soothe your sore throat!

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Is cold water bad for a sore throat?

In this article, we’ll explore the relationship between cold water and sore throats. We’ll also touch base on whether or not warm water is better for a sore throat, and if so, when. If you’ve ever heard the old wives’ tale that cold water is bad for your throat, we’ll be sure you know what’s true and what’s a myth by the time you finish reading.

If you’ve ever wanted to find out information about how water affects your sore throat, we’ve got you covered. With the facts listed below, you’ll be able to get well-informed in no time, and you’ll be prepared for the next time you find yourself facing a sore throat situation.

So read on to learn more!

Cold Water and Sore Throats

Cold water can be used to treat a sore throat, but it may not be the best solution. Here is some info to keep in mind:

throat sensitive to cold water

1. Cold can help ease the pain from your sore throat and make it feel numb for a little while.

  • If you drink cold water on your sore throat, you’ll probably notice the pain easing up almost instantly, although there may be a touch of extra pain from the cold right at first. Ice water can temporarily numb the pain from your sore throat and make it easier for you to keep eating and drinking for a little while, so many people like to sip some ice water with a meal when they have a sore throat. Contrary to the old wives’ tale, drinking cold water with a sore throat is not bad for you, but it may in fact be good for you.

2. The inflammation may die down for a bit while you’re enjoying your cold water.

  • If your throat is very swollen and inflamed, you can help it calm down a little bit while drinking ice water. Just keep in mind that this is only a temporary fix, and you’re going to need to do something more long-term to keep the inflammation at bay. Taking a painkiller is a good way to do this. However, if you want something to help give you some instant relief and reduce the swelling for a little while, ice water is the way to go.

3. Warm water can loosen mucus and relieve other symptoms related to the common cold.

  • Where cold water is a great numbing agent for your sore throat, warm water can actually help treat some of the problems contributing to the sore throat in the first place. Warm water will help thin and loosen the mucus and drainage that’s dripping down the back of your throat and causing a lot of the irritation that is, in turn, leading to the pain. By getting this mucus thinned out, you’ll be more able to cough it up or sneeze it out. And this is a sure way to help clear your head of the infection that’s causing all the trouble sooner rather than later.

4. Warm water can also soothe the pain in your throat for a longer period of time than cold can.

  • Cold can help your throat feel numb for a short time, but warm water will help ease the pain for a while. This is, in part, due to the point above; warm water is helping clear out the problem more than cold water can. With that said, however, remember that warm water may actually cause the swelling and inflammation to get worse, and if you drink nothing but warm water while you’re sick, you may actually stay sick for a longer period of time because of this.

5. Cold water can help reduce a fever.

  • If you find yourself suffering from a fever, even just a slight one, you can lower your core body temperature by drinking plenty of cold and cool water. If you have a fever, it’s also a good idea to drink cool water to help keep your body as hydrated as possible. Since many people do have fevers along with sore throats, you should always keep this suggestion in mind. And never drink a hot beverage when you already know you have a fever! This is a sure way to make your fever spike suddenly and make you feel much worse.

6. Many experts recommend alternating hot and cold.

  • While warm water is more beneficial overall, cold can help in the short term. As you can see from the facts listed above, warm water is generally the way to go when you’re looking for something that can help you get to feeling better soon and get over your cold as fast as possible. However, cold water has its place, and there’s no reason to avoid drinking it when you’re not feeling well.

7. It simply isn’t true that cold water is bad for a sore throat.

  • The worst thing that can happen to you from drinking cold water with a sore throat is feeling additional pain due to trouble swallowing. Again, alternate hot and cold for best results.
cold drinks help sore throat


Did you learn anything about the relationship between water and a sore throat? There are some situations in which you might want cold water on your sore throat and others when you may not at all, so it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the way water and sore throats get along (or don’t, as the case may be).

So what is the best way to treat a sore throat? There are several solutions you can use along with drinking alternating hot and cold water. For example, you may choose to take an over the counter cold medication that can help soothe your sore throat and ease the drainage that’s contributing to the pain. You may also take some pain reliever instead—just make sure you don’t take pain reliever on top of cold medication, since the cold medicine probably already contains a painkiller.

You may also be able to get some relief from gargling with warm salt water. This is a tried and true old-fashioned method of easing the pain from a sore throat. Eating a little bit of honey may do the same, or you can drink your honey dissolved in some warm water, provided the warm water doesn’t hurt your throat.

There are a lot of different ways you can get relief from a sore throat when you’re dealing with one. Just make sure you talk to your doctor about the problem if it lasts more than a few days, as you may need some prescription medication to help heal yourself and get back to normal as soon as possible.

Additional Research:


5 Tips to Help You Beat a Sore Throat

  1. Avoid cold drinks and foods, as they can irritate your throat.
  2. Drink warm liquids such as tea or broth to help soothe your throat.
  3. Gargle with salt water several times a day to reduce inflammation.
  4. Take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief.
  5. Get plenty of rest and stay hydrated to help your body fight off the infection.

ALSO: Try using a humidifier in your bedroom at night to keep the air moist and help relieve sore throat symptoms!</p

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About The Author

Joseph Bartley
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Joseph Bartley, also known as the WaterFilterFanatic, is a seasoned content writer who specializes in water filtration and water quality topics. On AllAboutWaterFilters, he has written a range of water filtration system reviews, water health and quality articles, swimming pool, hot tub and aquarium filtration guides, DIY methods to assist people clean their drinking water, and much more. Joseph enjoys spending his time working with the #AllAboutWaterFilters Editorial Team to provide some of the best quality water filtration content available on the web.

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