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Why Do Cold Smoothies Make Me Cough? Causes and Remedies

Cold smoothies can sometimes trigger coughing in some people, which can be uncomfortable and unpleasant.

There are several reasons why this might happen, and there are also simple solutions to help reduce or prevent the coughing.

Possible Causes


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and coughing. Cold smoothies can aggravate these symptoms by promoting the flow of stomach acids back into the esophagus, leading to coughing.

2. Asthma

Cold smoothies can act as a known trigger for asthma. People with asthma are more likely to experience coughing after consuming cold beverages due to the narrowing of the airways and increased breathing rate in response to the cold temperature inside the lungs.

3. Throat Irritation

When cold water or other cold smoothies go down the throat, they can cause irritation to the lining of the esophagus and larynx. The body’s natural response to this irritation is to trigger a cough in order to clear the irritation and protect the airways.

4. Mucus Hardening

Drinking cold liquids can cause mucus to build up in the throat. Coughing is the body’s way of attempting to clear this mucus and foreign objects from the airways.

5. Postnasal Drip

Postnasal drip occurs when mucus from the nose drips down the back of the throat. This mucus can irritate the throat lining and trigger a cough as the body tries to clear it.

6. Throat Infections

The respiratory mucosa acts as a protective covering in the respiratory system, defending against microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses. When you consume cold foods and beverages, this protective covering can become clogged or shrink, allowing microorganisms to enter the respiratory system and leading to inflammation of the throat, which can cause coughing.

7. Bronchospasm

Bronchospasm is a condition where the airways narrow, causing difficulty in breathing and coughing. When cold smoothies enter the throat, it can automatically trigger the narrowing of the airways, leading to coughing.

8. Allergy

Some individuals may be allergic to cold smoothies. When cold water or beverages come into contact with the throat, it can trigger an allergic reaction and cause coughing.

Why Do I Cough After Eating Certain Foods?

There are a few reasons why you might cough after eating certain foods. One reason could be an allergy to the food. If you have an allergy, your body may produce histamines in response to the food, which can cause coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

Another reason could be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This happens when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, and certain foods can trigger it. Foods high in fat or acidity are common triggers for coughing related to GERD.

Lastly, some people may have a sensitivity to certain foods, and they may cough due to irritation in their throat or airway. If you notice that you regularly cough after eating certain foods, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. They can help determine the cause of your coughing and find a solution.

How to Prevent Coughing After Drinking Cold Smoothies?

If you cough after drinking cold smoothies, here are some solutions that may help:

  1. Drink slowly: Take small sips and drink your smoothie slowly to give your throat time to adjust to the cold temperature and prevent sudden shock.
  2. Warm it up: If you are sensitive to cold temperatures, consider warming up your smoothie slightly before drinking it.
  3. Avoid brain freeze: To prevent brain freeze, use a straw or eat the smoothie with a spoon instead of drinking it quickly.
  4. Check for allergies: If you think you may be allergic to any ingredients in your smoothie, consult a healthcare provider for allergy testing.
  5. Manage asthma: If you have asthma, follow your prescribed medication and try to avoid cold air as much as possible.


Can Cold Smoothies cause coughing?

Yes, Cold Smoothies can sometimes cause coughing. When you drink something cold, it can irritate the throat tissues, leading to a cough. Additionally, cold smoothies can trigger bronchospasm, which causes the airways to narrow and can result in coughing.

Do cold smoothies worsen a cold?

Cold smoothies do not directly worsen a cold or make it last longer. However, some people may find that consuming very cold smoothies can temporarily aggravate their cold symptoms. Cold beverages can cause throat irritation or trigger coughing, especially if the throat is already sensitive due to the cold or flu.

What drinks are good for coughs?

Herbal teas, warm water with honey, and warm lemon water are good drinks that can help soothe coughs and provide relief for irritated throats.


It’s important to note that individual responses to cold smoothies may vary, and not everyone will experience coughing. If you frequently experience coughing after consuming cold beverages and it becomes a concern, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation

Chukwuebuka Martins

Chukwuebuka MartinsĀ is a writer, researcher, and health enthusiast who specializes in human physiology. He takes great pleasure in penning informative articles on many aspects of physical wellness, which he then thoroughly enjoys sharing to the general public.

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