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Have you ever experienced a sore throat after a night of partying and alcohol consumption? It isn't a pleasant feeling, especially if it’s accompanied by a hangover.
Various reasons contribute to the development of a sore throat after drinking:
Common symptoms of sore throat include:
If the sore throat is due to an infection, symptoms may include:
Sometimes it may be challenging to get rid of a sore throat and husky voice after drinking. However, avoiding alcohol or only having a few drinks is the best way to prevent an alcohol-related sore throat.
Below are some of the best ways to prevent a sore throat after drinking:
Alcohol is a diuretic that leaves you dehydrated. Alcohol-induced dehydration is also referred to as a hangover.3
Drinking fluids such as water after a night of drinking will help prevent symptoms such as dry mouth, fatigue, insomnia, and headache. In addition, your body will recover by regaining water lost during urination.
Dry air is also known to cause a sore throat after drinking. According to experts, breathing dry air, especially through the mouth, can cause a scratchy and dry throat.4
Turning on your humidifier or hopping into a steamy shower helps introduce some humidity in the air. It smoothes the air you breathe, preventing a sore throat.
In places where alcohol is sold, you may find yourself speaking loudly due to the loud music or noise from other people.
Shouting or yelling causes muscle and voice strain, resulting in a husky voice.5 The end result is a sore throat. Speaking softly will minimize the risk of a sore throat due to strain on your vocal cords.
Dark alcoholic drinks like whiskey, tequila, and cognac have high levels of Congeners. Congeners are byproducts of the fermentation process that contribute to severe hangovers.
A sore throat is a common symptom of hangovers. Consider lighter drinks like gin, rum, and vodka.
Hangover symptoms such as a sore throat might be enhanced by fatigue from sleep deprivation.
Alcohol itself and the related acid reflux may irritate the mucous membrane in the throat, causing a sore throat.6
Knowing your alcohol limit will help prevent intoxication. Avoiding alcohol intoxication lowers your chances of a sore throat after drinking.
A sore throat due to an infection (strep throat) is usually treated with antibiotics. However, treatment differs for a sore throat from drinking alcohol.
Here are the various treatment options available:
Warm salty water tends to have a soothing effect on a sore throat. Saltwater kills bacteria and loosens the mucus membrane, relieving throat pain.7
Mix about one glass of warm water and half a tablespoon of salt. Then, gargle the saltwater in the back of your throat for 30 seconds. Doing this several times a day will help get rid of the sore throat quicker.
Chicken noodle soup is a typical remedy used to manage fevers and symptoms of common cold, such as nasal congestion and sore throat.8
Hot soup offers similar benefits as hot lemon water or tea.
In addition, hot soup containing vegetables or proteins soothes your sore throat and provides nutrients.9
Our bodies tend to auto recover from certain conditions. Getting enough rest and sleep helps your body manage the recovery process better.
As long as there is no underlying condition, a good rest should be enough to treat a sore throat.
Stop drinking and talking too much and take it easy for several days. This will help heal your sore throat.
Lemon water and honey, like saltwater, are suitable for sore throat relief. Lemons help break up mucus and relieve pain.
They also contain a lot of Vitamin C, which strengthens your immune system. Honey acts as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent.
For fast relief, mix one teaspoon of lemon juice in a glass of warm water with honey and drink.
Lozenges may not guarantee a cure for your sore throat, but they will help relieve the pain.
According to research, over-the-counter lozenges contain chemicals that may offer pain relief in as little as 5 minutes.10 They can also provide relief even after the candy has dissolved.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium may help reduce swelling and throat irritation.
These OTC medications may also assist in relieving alcohol-induced headaches.
Peppermint tea is a warm beverage that can ease a sore throat after drinking. The beverage has antibacterial properties that destroy bacteria, causing a sore throat.11
Peppermint also has anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces irritation and swelling while soothing your throat.
In addition, inhaling peppermint steam can treat some symptoms that accompany a sore throat, such as nasal congestion.
Before taking any herbal treatments, consult your doctor since they can interfere with prescription drugs. They may also not be safe for children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with certain health issues.
Painful swallowing typically resolves a few days after taking alcohol. However, a persistent or recurring sore throat may require professional examination and treatment.
Seek medical attention if you notice the following:
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