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Q: Does drinking cold liquids cause sore throat? ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Does drinking cold liquids cause sore throat?
Category: Health
Asked by: bdolicki-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 11 Jan 2005 01:52 PST
Expires: 10 Feb 2005 01:52 PST
Question ID: 455447
Is there any scientific evidence that drinking (ice-) cold liquids
(esp. drinking them quickly) causes sore throat? Is this
yet-another-grandma-myth or a fact?
Subject: Re: Does drinking cold liquids cause sore throat?
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 11 Jan 2005 09:07 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
It?s a myth, bdolocki.

  While I found no hard study data, I can tell you what a doctor with
whom I used to work told patients:  ?The only way you?ll catch a cold
or sore throat from drinking cold liquids is if the drink contains the
causative virus or bacteria?. Its highly likely you would  get a sore
throat from drinking a cold liquid from the same glass as a person
with a sore throat. Certainly some cold drinks such as orange juice or
carbonated drinks would irritate a throat that may be mildly infected
with a virus or bacteria, making a sore throat more painful.  Being
tired, being under a lot of stress, smoking or exposure to second hand
smoke, and eating an unhealthy diet can make people more vulnerable to
the organisms that cause sore throats.

Colds, sore throat, and other respiratory illnesses are caused by
organisms, transmitted from human contact. If you had your tonsils out
as a child, you were probably given popsicles or ice cubes to suck on
to relieve the pain. Most people in the US have cold drinks with ice
every day, yet have no more incidence of sore throats than others.
Adults appear to experience sore throats about twice a year.

?Approximately 40 ? 60% of cases of pharyngitis are caused by a virus
and about 15% are associated with Streptococcus infection (strep
throat). In the United States, children typically average five sore
throats per year and Streptococcus infection every 4 years. Adults
typically experience two sore throats per year and Streptococcus
infection approximately every 8 years.?

?Cold water or ice-cream will give you a cold or sore throat in cold weather --
 Doctors over the world agree that sore throat and colds are due to
germs, viruses and bacteria, not because of eating cold foods. In fact
there are surgical procedures like tonsil-removal, that recommends
eating ice-cream ONLY.

No cold drinks if just in from hot sun ?
This is a very commonly held view in hotter countries, attributing the
sudden change in temperature as the reason for cold or worse. Exposure
is the culprit, but doctors have not found any scientific evidence to
support this belief, so it may just be a grandma?s idea that we prefer
to follow.?

?Following surgery, your child's throat may be quite sore. He or she
also may have some ear pain. Sucking on an ice cube can relieve some
of this discomfort. So can eating ice cream or sherbet ? much better
options from your child's point of view ? and drinking cold liquids.?

?Once the patient is at home, a sore throat and ear pain can be
expected for about a week. Sucking on a Popsicle, eating ice cream,
Jell-O, or drinking cold liquids may provide some comfort?

?To relieve a sore throat, gargle often with warm or cold
double-strength tea or salt water.?

?Other remedies include gargling with weak, warm salt water (1/4
teaspoon of salt to 4 ounces of warm water), drinking cold liquids or
eating Popsicles. Avoid citrus products like orange juice, which may
add to your discomfort. In more severe cases of strep throat, use
anesthetic spray or take lozenges containing benzocaine.?

More about colds:

University of Maryland

Causes of sore throat:

McKinley Health
Causes of sore throat

Hope this helps you! Enjoy your ice-cold drinks! Anecdotally,I have to
say, having an ice-dispenser on my refirgerator door has been one of
the most pleasant "luxuries" I have ever had. I drink ice cold drinks
every day, and I can't remember when my last sore throat was!

If any part of my answer is unclear, please request an Answer
Clarification, before rating. this will enable me to assist you
further, if possible.


Search Terms
Myths + pharyngitis
Causes of pharyngitis
Colds + causes
Cold liquids + colds
bdolicki-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Very good answer with many helpful links. Four stars because of lack
of a solid scientific reference.

Subject: Re: Does drinking cold liquids cause sore throat?
From: ddhara-ga on 11 Jan 2005 04:40 PST
Although I did not find the exact thing, it is certainly a myth that
being out in the cold can cause the flu and sore throat. Given below
is the resource from American Lung Association.
Subject: Re: Does drinking cold liquids cause sore throat?
From: jack_of_few_trades-ga on 11 Jan 2005 06:09 PST
Ddhara, what you say is technically correct, but misleading.  Going
out in the cold cannot make you sick in itself, however it does weaken
your immune system.  Then when weakened (for the duration of your time
outside and while you're warming up inside) you are much more likely
to be infected by the cold/flu germs that are around you.

"The cold temperatures actually lower your defense mechanisms and
decrease your immune system," Forsythe said. "People need to avoid
going out in these temperatures at all costs and the elderly
definitely don't need to be out."
Subject: Re: Does drinking cold liquids cause sore throat?
From: bdolicki-ga on 23 Jan 2005 17:02 PST
jack_of_few_trades, look what I found:

"Contrary to folk wisdom, exposure to cold does not seem to be
responsible for catching a cold or the flu. A study published in the
late 1960s, for example, showed that chilling volunteers (actually,
prison inmates) did not make them more susceptible to infection with
rhinovirus, one of the kinds of viruses that often cause colds, and
did not make their colds worse."
Unfortunatelly, I still haven't found a reference to any similar study
regarding cold liquids and sore throat.

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