Coffee Makes Me Cough: 5 Reasons And Solutions For 2024

Not all coffee drinkers can enjoy coffee as easily as others. Some struggle with the following problem “Coffee Makes Me Cough”. There are several reasons why coffee may make you cough.

One reason is that coffee is a diuretic, which means it can cause dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your throat can become dry and irritated, leading to coughing. Additionally, coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant that can cause your airways to become more sensitive. This increased sensitivity can lead to coughing, especially if you already have an underlying respiratory condition like asthma.

It’s important to note that not everyone who drinks coffee will experience coughing. However, if you find that coffee consistently makes you cough, there are steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms.

Why Coffee Makes Some People Cough

People Holding Coffee

Coffee is a popular beverage enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Sadly, for some individuals, drinking coffee can lead to coughing and discomfort. If you are one of those people who experience coughing after drinking coffee: You might be lucky. In this post, we will discover some of the reasons why coffee can make you cough.

Caffeine Sensitivity

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee that can increase acid release in the stomach. This acid can reflux into the esophagus and irritate the throat, triggering a cough reflex. If you are sensitive to caffeine, even a small amount of coffee can cause coughing and discomfort.

Acidic Coffee

Coffee contains acid, which can irritate the esophageal lining and cause coughing. This acid can cause esophageal inflammation, making it more sensitive to irritation. This can result in a chronic cough and discomfort. Additionally, heat and steam from hot coffee can also cause coughing.

To minimize the risk of coughing after drinking coffee, you can try switching to a lower acid coffee or drinking coffee with milk or cream to neutralize the acid. You can also try drinking coffee in moderation or switching to decaf if you are sensitive to caffeine.

Caffeine and Coughing

Caffeine Text

One possibility that you cough when drinking coffee is that caffeine, the primary active ingredient in coffee, is to blame. Let’s explore how caffeine may be affecting your respiratory system and potentially causing you to cough.

Caffeine’s potential to affect the respiratory system

Caffeine can also have an effect on the respiratory system. It is a bronchodilator, which means it can help to open up the airways and improve breathing. This is why caffeine is sometimes used as a treatment for asthma and other respiratory conditions.

But caffeine can also have a drying effect on the body, which can irritate the throat and trigger a cough reflex. This is why some people may experience coughing after drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages.

Acidic Coffee and Throat Irritation

Throat Irritation

Coffee is naturally acidic, and this acidity can cause irritation in the throat.

Coffee’s Natural Acidity

Coffee is naturally acidic due to the presence of various compounds, such as chlorogenic acid and quinic acid. These compounds give coffee its distinct flavor and aroma but can also cause irritation in the throat. The acidity of coffee can vary depending on the type of bean and the brewing method used.

How Acidic Substances Can Irritate the Throat

Acidic substances can irritate the throat by causing inflammation and damage to the tissues. When you drink acidic coffee, the acid can come into contact with the sensitive tissues in your throat, causing irritation and inflammation. This irritation can lead to coughing, throat clearing, and discomfort.

How Coffee Acidity Varies by Bean Type and Brewing Method

The acidity of coffee can vary depending on the type of bean and the brewing method used. For example, light roast coffee tends to be more acidic than dark roast coffee. Similarly, brewing methods such as cold brew or French press can result in a less acidic coffee compared to drip coffee. If you find that acidic coffee irritates your throat, you may want to try a different type of bean or brewing method to see if it makes a difference.

How to Prevent Coughing After Coffee

Light bulb on blackboard

If you experience coughing after drinking coffee, there are several things you can do to prevent this from happening. Here are some tips:

1. Decaffeinated Coffee

If you think caffeine is the cause of your coughing, try switching to decaffeinated coffee. Decaf coffee still has the same flavor and aroma as regular coffee, but with less caffeine. This may help reduce the likelihood of coughing.

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2. Experimenting with Brewing Methods

Different brewing methods can affect the acidity and strength of your coffee. Experiment with different brewing methods to find one that works best for you. For example, try a French press or pour-over method instead of a drip coffee maker.

3. Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is less acidic than hot brewed coffee, which may help reduce coughing. Try making your own cold brew at home or look for cold brew options at your local coffee shop.

4. Choosing Low-Acid Coffee Beans

Certain types of coffee beans are less acidic than others. Look for low-acid coffee beans, which are less likely to cause coughing. Some examples include Sumatra, Brazilian, and Colombian beans.

5. Staying Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help keep your airways hydrated, which may reduce coughing. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and avoid drinks that can dehydrate you, such as alcohol and sugary drinks.


FAQ – Coffee Makes Me Cough

Why do I cough after I drink coffee?

One possible reason for this is that coffee can be acidic, which can irritate your throat and cause you to cough. Additionally, coffee contains caffeine, which can stimulate your airways and make you cough. If you have a sensitive throat or airways, you may be more likely to experience coughing after drinking coffee.

Why does coffee tickle my throat?

Coffee can sometimes feel like it’s tickling your throat because of its acidity and the way it stimulates your airways. The acidity in coffee can cause irritation in your throat, which can feel like a tickle. Additionally, coffee contains caffeine, which can stimulate your airways and cause a tickling sensation.

Why do I cough when I drink Starbucks?

Starbucks coffee is no different from other types of coffee when it comes to causing coughing. If you experience coughing after drinking Starbucks coffee, it is likely due to the acidity and caffeine content of the coffee.

Does coffee enhance coughing?

Coffee can sometimes enhance coughing because of its acidity and caffeine content. The acidity in coffee can irritate your throat and airways, making you more likely to cough. Caffeine can stimulate your airways and cause coughing.

What is coffee throat?

“Coffee throat” is a term used to describe the feeling of irritation or discomfort in your throat after drinking coffee. This sensation is often caused by the acidity in coffee, which can irritate your throat and cause inflammation. If you experience coffee throat frequently, you may want to consider switching to a less acidic coffee or adding milk or cream to your coffee to help neutralize the acidity.


If you liked this blog post about the topic: Coffee Makes Me Cough, don’t forget to leave us a comment down below to tell us about your experience with it.

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Wadim Urbanowitsch

2 Comments

  1. Very informative. Every time I’ve had Starbucks mocha frappe or my morning coffee. I cough. I never smoked so I looked this up and your article is just great.

    • Hi Diane, we are glad you found this article helpful! Hearing about your experience with coffee and coughing is really interesting — thank you for sharing!

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