Foods and Drinks for Sore Throat: Tips for a Fast Relief

Suffering from a sore throat can be a discomforting experience, often caused by bacterial or viral infections. While medical treatment is necessary in some cases, paying attention to nutrition and adopting home remedies can help alleviate the symptoms. This article explores the role of nutrition in soothing a sore throat and gives tips on foods to eat and foods to avoid for relief.

Key takeaways:

Sore throat (pharyngitis) is commonly caused by bacterial or viral infection. Many things can cause sore throat, including colds, flu, allergies, strep throat, tonsillitis, and smoking. If needed, your healthcare provider prescribes a treatment based on the cause of the sore throat.

The importance of nutrition increases in times of infection or disease. Nutrients help fight diseases by providing energy and supporting a healthy immune system.

You can ease your sore throat at home by paying more attention to your nutrition. However, keep monitoring your symptoms. If the symptoms don't lessen or worsen in a few days, consult your doctor.

Best foods and drinks for a sore throat

A sore throat can cause trouble eating. Soft and easy-to-swallow foods can help you to get the nutrients you need to support your body.

Herbal tea

Caffeine-free teas with or without honey can soothe a sore throat. Choose caffeine-free tea (such as chamomile, peppermint, or ginger) and brew it in warm water. You can add sweetness with honey as well.

Warm water with honey and lemon

Honey may help decrease mucositis (inflammation of mucosa). You can mix warm water, honey, and lemon to add vitamin C to your comforting beverage.

Broth-based soup

Soups are great for improving nutrition while you're having difficulty eating. Soups are warm, soft, and nutrient-dense. Also, you can make delicious soups with whatever vegetables you have. Add protein sources such as chicken to help with recovery.

Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are so easy to make and delicious. You can enrich mashed potatoes with herbs and eat them as a side dish with any meal.

Cooked or steamed vegetables

Vegetables have vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds that help fight infection and inflammation. You can steam vegetables to soften them and add rice or pasta to the side to increase the energy content of the meal.


Smoothies are a delicious way to provide vitamins and minerals to your body. You can mix your favorite fruits with honey.

Foods to avoid for a sore throat

There are some foods that can further irritate your throat and are best to avoid if you have a sore throat.

Spicy food

Spicy food, such as hot peppers, can directly irritate the inflamed throat. Try using other spices to enhance your meals until your throat heals.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and lime are acidic fruits that may irritate the inflamed area. Remember that tomatoes are also an acidic fruit. Fruit consumption is essential, so you can choose other fruits such as peaches, watermelons, grapes, and bananas.

Crunchy foods

Crunchy foods, such as chips, pretzels, popcorn, and toasted bread, should be avoided.

Alcoholic beverages

Alcoholic beverages can accelerate irritation. As a drink, water can help soothe the area of inflammation.

Caffeinated beverages

Caffeinated beverages increase irritation. You can choose to drink caffeine-free teas to benefit from warm, comforting drinks without caffeine's irritating effects.

Tips to ease a sore throat

Proper nutrition can support you in recovery by providing energy and nutrients. You can also ease symptoms with simple at-home treatment. According to the U.K. National Health Service, here are things you can do to relieve sore throat:

  1. Maintain hydration. A sore throat causes dryness. Drinking water frequently can moisturize the area of irritation, helping with eating and healing.
  2. Avoid hot foods in extreme temperatures. Hot food can accelerate irritation. You can choose warm meals.
  3. Try sucking ice cubes. The coolness ease the irritation.
  4. Practice good oral hygiene. Oral hygiene gets more critical at the time of illness. Dryness and irritation make you more susceptible to growing bacteria. Make sure you pay necessary attention to good oral hygiene.
  5. Gargle with salty water. Mix 4 to 8 ounces of warm water with 0.25 to 0.5 teaspoon of salt. Gargle with the mixture and spit it out.
  6. Take small, frequent meals. If you have difficulty eating, try eating frequently in small portions.
  7. Use a humidifier. You can use a cool-air humidifier to moisturize the environment. Be sure that the humidifier is clean.

If you have a sore throat, you can ease symptoms by paying attention to your nutrition, hydration, and hygiene. However, consult your healthcare professional for treatment if symptoms persist or worsen.

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