Is Milk Good for a Sore Throat?

Written by: Jessica Guht Reviewed by: Amy Dougherty, FNP-BC, AGAC
Jessica Guht
Categorized as Health
Jessica Guht
Categorized as Health

Having a sore throat is irritating and can also be quite painful. If you have a sore throat and are fairly uncomfortable then you may be wondering how you relieve your symptoms and feel better fast. One product you may consider using is milk.

Here you can get the answer to the question is milk good for a sore throat as well as learn more about what foods and drinks are best and when to see a doctor.

Table of Contents

Is Milk Good for a Sore Throat?

Milk is likely a product you already have in your home and refrigerator most days. Therefore, you may wonder if milk is good for a sore throat or not. You want to feel better and not worse so it’s important to know what you should be doing or drinking and what to stay away from. Studies have shown that there is also no increase in phlegm when drinking milk alongside a sore throat or the common cold.

Generally speaking, a cold glass of milk can be a great option to choose for soothing a sore throat. There are a few reasons why this is, including that it will feel good on your throat and milk also offers some calories and nutrients for you and your body if you don’t feel like eating or haven’t been eating much. You may even want to consider using it in combination with yogurt or making a smoothie with these ingredients for even more vitamins, antioxidants, and probiotics.

Should You Avoid Dairy Products With a Sore Throat?

Another question to address and think about when you have a sore throat is if you should stay away from dairy products in general. While in most cases milk won’t cause more phlegm, in some people dairy has been known to thicken or increase mucus production. If this ends up being your situation then you may be more prone to clear your throat often which might aggravate your already sore throat.

Overall, you may assume you should avoid dairy or have heard you should avoid it when you’re sick, however, there is no evidence to support that it will make it worse or that it is bad for a sore throat. If you want to drink milk with a sore throat then you should feel confident to go ahead and do so without the risk of experiencing any negative side effects.

What Foods and Drinks Are Good for a Sore Throat?

That being said, you might also be curious to know what foods and drinks are good for a sore throat. Maybe it’s that you don’t have any milk handy or you don’t feel like drinking mike at the time. 

In either case, below is a list of some foods and drinks that have been known to feel good on a sore throat and that are okay to consume:

  • Ginger
  • Oatmeal
  • Jell-O
  • Honey
  • Chicken soup and broth
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Eggs
  • Smoothies
  • Ice cream
  • Water
  • Tea (can add lemon)
  • And of course, milk

Stock up on these types of foods and drinks and you’ll be all set.

When to See a Doctor?

If you’re feeling under the weather and have a sore throat, there’s no need to worry. Your sore throat should naturally get better and improve over time with at-home treatments and rest. 

However, this isn’t always the case. You may be doing everything right and eating these foods and drinking water, tea, and milk and your sore throat may not get better or may even worsen.

You should always see a doctor if you have a severe sore throat along with a fever that’s over 101 degrees and these symptoms last longer than one to two days. Other reasons to see a doctor are if a red rash appears or if you can’t sleep at night because you have swollen tonsils or adenoids. 

Your sore throat may be serious if you have trouble swallowing or breathing or difficulty opening your mouth. The longest you should ever wait to get checked out by a doctor is six days after having a sore throat.

Get Help From DrHouse!

If you have any questions about whether milk is good for a sore throat or not, our doctors at DrHouse can help. We’re happy to give you more information or clarity on anything you may be wondering about when it comes to your sore throat or what you should or shouldn’t be doing to treat your sore throat.

At DrHouse, we can help you get the treatment you need for your sore throat. We offer 24/7 on-demand online visits with our clinicians so that you can get the care and attention you deserve from the comfort of your own home.

All you need to do is to download our telehealth app, and set up your account and you can start an on-demand virtual doctors visit any time, day or night!

Key Takeaways

Drinking milk is a fine choice if you have a sore throat and if it sounds good to you then you should do so. Milk can be good for a sore throat and if it doesn’t appeal to you then there are plenty of other suitable foods and drinks you can consume instead. Don’t be afraid to see a doctor if your sore throat becomes severe and you aren’t feeling well.


  • Michael E. Pichichero (1997) Sore throat after sore throat after sore throat, Postgraduate Medicine, 101:1, 205-225, DOI: 10.3810/pgm.1997.01.150
  • Dans PE. The Management of Sore Throat: Adjusting to Success. JAMA. 1986;256(24):3392–3393. doi: 
  • van der Velden AW, Sessa A, Altiner A, Pignatari ACC, Shephard A. Patients with Sore Throat: A Survey of Self-Management and Healthcare-Seeking Behavior in 13 Countries Worldwide. Pragmat Obs Res. 2020;11:91-102. Published 2020 Sep 10. doi: 
  • Moose RM. DOES MILK “MAKE MUCUS”?. Calif Med. 1948;68(1):31-32.PMCID: PMC1643102, PMID: 18731356
  • Nanda, Manpreet & Mittal, Shiv & Gupta, Vipan. (2017). Role of honey as adjuvant therapy in patients with sore throat. National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 7. 1. .   

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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