Is Chocolate Bad For Sore Throat? [Why, How & Alternatives]

Yes, processed chocolate is bad for sore throat especially when it contains dairy or sugar.

Treats like processed chocolate or drinks are sugary and they end up feeding the bacteria which worsens a sore throat. 

Taking sugary treats like chocolate can also prolong the time it takes for your sore throat to heal. However, chocolate like dark unsweetened chocolate made with real cacao can be effective in treating sore throat or cough. 

This article helps you understand why chocolate is bad for sore throat and how some varieties can be useful for the same condition. 

Why is chocolate bad for sore throat?

Chocolate is bad for sore throat because of the high amounts of sugar or dairy it contains.

Dairy increases mucus buildup in your throat while sugar feeds the bacteria responsible for the sore throat. 

Feeding the bacteria will cause a burning sensation in your throat, aggravate the pain, and slow down the healing process. 

Hence, regardless of whether it is white chocolate, milky chocolate, or your favorite branded chocolate bar, you’re probably setting yourself up for more pain than you can imagine. 

is chocolate bad for sore throat - cheffist

Maybe you unknowingly ate a bar of sugary chocolate while having a throat infection, a saltwater gargle or herbal tea mixed with cinnamon, cloves, honey or mint can help soothe the pain. 

Can hot chocolate relieve sore throat?

Hot chocolate beverages made from sweetened cocoa should not be used to treat sore throats. 

Regular hot chocolate drinks have a high sugar content and will worsen the throat infection. Also, because chocolate beverages usually have a thick and sticky texture, they can trap the bacteria in your tonsils and help them to thrive. 

However, hot chocolate beverages made with dark chocolate from pure cacao will help and can relieve the soreness to a good degree.

SEE: Is Ginger Ale Good For A Cold?

When should you not use chocolate for sore throat?

Do not use chocolates for a sore throat if it contains sugar or dairy and also if your sore throat is a result of acid reflux

Chocolate contains cocoa which is known to boost gastric acid production and worsen acid reflux. Gastric acid shot up to your throat will worsen a sore throat. 

This also happens with coffee. Therefore, it’s best to avoid green or black tea that contains caffeine and coffee as they aggravate acid reflux. 

How does dark chocolate soothe a sore throat?

Research has found that the darkest chocolate made from real cacao contains theobromine, an alkaloid that can suppress the urge to cough. Theobromine was also found to be more effective than codeine. 

However, to enjoy the soothing effect of chocolate on cough or sore throat, go with dark chocolate that contains over 70% concentration of cacao. 

Dark chocolates with over 70% concentration of cacao are generally healthier and contain less sugar compared to their sweetened counterparts. 

SEE: Is Hot Cocoa Good For A Cold?

How do you use dark chocolate to treat a sore throat?

To use chocolate as a remedy for an irritated throat, it should be dark chocolate made from real cacao. Also, you should hold it in your mouth for a long period.

Rather than just swallow a big chunk of chocolate, get yourself dark unsweetened chocolate and slowly suck on it.

What are the health benefits of chocolate?

Some of the major benefits of eating chocolate are its high amounts of antioxidants which help to combat free radicals, and its ability to relieve irritation and inflammation

Pure chocolate is also rich in minerals, helps to boost heart health, improves brain function, and boosts the immune system.  

What alternative beverages can you use for sore throat?

Drinking hot herbal or decaffeinated tea works wonders for a sore throat.

To enhance its therapeutic and healing properties, you can add lemon, honey, and mint to the mix. 

SEE: Is Honey Gluten-Free? This Is What You Need to Know


Can you be allergic to chocolate?

Yes, you can suffer allergic reactions after consuming chocolate.

Common allergies to look out for after consuming chocolate includes swelling (tongue, lips, throat), shortness of breath, wheezing or shortness of breath, stomach cramps, and/or hives. 

What is the difference between white and dark chocolate?

Dark chocolate is made up of little or no milk, has a slightly bitter taste, and majorly consists of cocoa solids known as cacao.

On the other hand, white chocolate contains no cocoa solids and is mainly made up of milk, cocoa butter, and sugar. 


Eating dark unsweetened chocolate is not bad for a sore throat. Darker chocolate made with real cacao will help you feel better faster. However, do not stop taking the recommended medications because of this. And make sure to drink plenty of fluids.

Darker chocolate made from real cacao works just like honey because of theobromine. It relieves affected nerves in the throat. You can also take the darker chocolate in hot liquid form for faster and more effective relief.

However, other varieties of chocolate like dairy-filled ones or sugary candy bars will only make the sore throat worse.

Finally, if you plan to use darker chocolate for your sore throat, make sure it isn’t moldy to avoid further health complications. Here are common signs to look out for in moldy chocolate and how to prevent them.

I hope you found this article helpful.

Thanks for reading.