Does Coffee Cause Mucus?


Caffeine is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in various plants, seeds, and nuts.

Coffee is one of the most beloved beverages globally, with more than 3 billion cups consumed every day. 

Coffee has been linked to health benefits, but some people believe it causes mucus. Does coffee cause mucus? Let's find out. 

There is a lot of contrasting information about coffee and mucus. Coffee has many benefits, but it can also cause acid reflux disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach cancer.

Does coffee cause excess mucus?
Coffee contains a substance called caffeine, which is an alkaloid that occurs naturally in many plants. 

Caffeine increases the amount of acid in the body’s tissues; this produces the “jitter” you feel when you drink your coffee or other caffeinated beverages.

In addition, caffeine causes the muscles in the stomach to become more sensitive and contract more often, which can lead to heartburn. 

But many people know that coffee can help keep them alert. Studies show that coffee reduces fatigue, leading to several critical medical discoveries.

But is there any truth to the idea that coffee makes mucus? 

Caffeine-rich foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks, are diuretics that tend to dry your body, resulting in thicker mucus, cold and cough, and a weakened immune system. 

Mucus is a thick discharge that coats and protects membranes in the body. It is mainly made of water, but it also contains proteins and chemicals such as enzymes, antibodies, and some salts and sugar. 

Mucus has many functions – from protecting areas of the body from infection to facilitating digestion.

The way coffee affects mucus depends on its acidity level. Coffee becomes more acidic when brewed for more extended periods or with less water than usual. 

When coffee contains more water than normal, it becomes less acidic, and the mucus moisture decreases. It can lead to a decrease in mucus thickness and an increase in mucus produced. 

Drinking coffee leads to several changes in your body's mucous membranes, which can lead to more mucus production. 

One study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa found that coffee drinking significantly increases respiratory tract mucus secretion. 

Another study on mice, led by investigators at the University of California–San Francisco, found that mice exposed to coffee had an increase in mucus production, especially during times of stress. 

Researchers say this is a sign that coffee can cause excess mucus production. These effects can potentially be dangerous to people with chronic respiratory illnesses, such as asthma.

What foods should you avoid to decrease mucus production?

Foods High in Histamine

Histamines are substances produced by the body to rid the body of potential irritants. Allergies are the primary cause of histamine production. These histamines can assist keep you healthy, but they frequently cause an increase in mucus production.

Histamine levels are high in some meals. Examples are fermented foods such as yoghurt, sour cream, pickled vegetables, and alcoholic beverages. 

Consuming foods and drinks high in histamines can lead to mucus formation, so restrict your intake or eliminate them from your diet.

Caffeinated Foods and Beverages

Caffeine sources, such as coffee or black tea, can cause the development of thick mucus. In addition, caffeine may promote dehydration, which leads to the development of more viscous mucus. 

Thick mucus is more difficult to discharge from the lungs, so you will have difficulty breathing if you have COPD. If you do consume caffeine, remember to stay hydrated.

Meats that have been processed

Proteins are essential for the body to energize cells and produce new tissue. However, processed meats induce mucus buildup in the throat because of their chemicals and preservatives. Avoid processed meats in favour of organic, pastured, or grass-fed cuts.

Milk and Dairy Products

Dairy products tend to thicken mucus. As previously stated, a thick mucus is an issue since it is more difficult to discharge from the lungs.

Is milk included in dairy products?
Dairy products are an essential element of many diets, so you may not want to eliminate them. However, you should limit your intake to avoid thickening your mucus and increasing your COPD symptoms.

What can help reduce mucus production?


Garlic is an anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogen, and anti-bacterial agent. It contains a chemical known as allicin. The allicin in garlic deactivates the substances that cause excess mucus production while increasing your immune system’s ability to fight off illness and infections. 

What does garlic do in the body?
In addition, garlic releases several anti-inflammatory agents that reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as COPD.


Strongly scented oils such as geranium, lavender, and peppermint can help to reduce excess mucus production.


Aerobic activity stimulates the body’s immune system, which helps reduce excess mucus. Regular exercise boosts your immune system and reduces the risk of chronic illnesses such as COPD.

Does exercise increase mucus production?
If you don't exercise regularly, research suggests that walking up to 10 miles a week can reduce mucus production by as much as 20%. 

Vitamin C

A recent study involving mice at the University of Iowa demonstrated that vitamin C reduces mucus production and plays an essential role in COPD.

In addition, the study found that a deficiency of vitamin C in the lab caused higher mucus levels and made mice more susceptible to respiratory illnesses, such as cystic fibrosis. 

Most people know that vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which helps to prevent the oxidative damage caused by free radicals in your body.

Why does coffee increase mucus production?

Coffee’s original purpose was to provide the beverage maker with a fresh cup of coffee quickly. As time went on, coffee became more complex and became an essential part of human history.

Like the invention of many other drinking needs, such as beer and tea, coffee found its way into a modern-day lifestyle. 

Today, we know that caffeine keeps us awake and helps reduce fatigue. It also acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system. In addition, caffeine is also an addictive drug because it causes dopamine release in the body. 

As a result of coffee's popularity and its many health benefits, we consume it regularly. Unfortunately, drinking too much coffee can lead to issues, including dehydration, contributing to mucus production.

Is coffee good for mucus in throat?

Unfortunately, the combination of coffee and dehydration can lead to increased mucus formation, especially in people with COPD. This can make your breathing harder and more difficult as you try to breathe.

Does hot coffee break mucus?

Hot tea or coffee can both break up the mucus and make it easier to expel.
This is due primarily to the addition of hot water and possibly a bit of honey or lemon.


Mucus is the main component of your immune system that helps protect you from the many harmful substances in your environment.

If you have COPD, you will want to make sure that mucus production is at a healthy level. The above-listed foods, drinks, and activities can impact mucus production; however, be sure to talk with your doctor before making any lifestyle changes.

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