Why Do I Cough After Eating Ice Cream?

Ice cream is a frozen treat, typically made from dairy products such as milk and cream as its main ingredients and often combined with flavorings, sweeteners, fruits, or nuts. Moreover, eating ice cream is one of those sweet indulgences that we all love to indulge in at some point. In brief, it is a favorite among people of all ages. Although it is a sweet delight liked by everyone, people ask, Why do I cough after eating ice cream?

Contrary to its sweet pleasure, it has been experienced that one coughs after eating ice cream. There could be several reasons behind this. This blog post will solve this mystery and provide solutions to clearing your throat after eating ice cream.


Reasons for Coughing After Eating Ice Cream?

This question is common among children and adults who enjoy eating a lot of ice cream. Many people wonder why I cough after eating ice cream. But, if you sit down and think about the cause of the cough, it’s easy to understand. However, this blog provides every possible reason for your confusion.

The reasons for coughing after eating ice cream can be many. Some are related to the ingredients used in the ice cream, and some are related to the person’s health.

Here are some common causes of coughing after eating ice cream and cold drinks.

Cold Temperature Causes the Saliva in Our Mouth to Freeze

When we eat ice cream, the cold temperature causes the saliva in our mouth to freeze to protect it from dehydrating. When we breathe, the saliva on our tongue freezes and leads to a cough reflex being activated.


If you experience a cough after eating ice cream, it might be due to allergies or the ingredients within the ice cream. Some people are allergic to dairy products. You may experience hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing if you have an allergic reaction. This scenario is most likely if you do not share similar symptoms after consuming other cold drinks or foods.


GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) occurs when stomach contents (including acid) reflux into the esophagus, which can cause spontaneous or uncontrolled coughing. But if you noticed this after only one or two occasions of eating ice cream, you might be inclined to think that ice cream was the cause. It can be challenging to pinpoint the source of a cough, but knowing that any food might be the culprit could help. If you’re experiencing chest pain or stomach discomfort when coughing, it might be GERD, and any food is a possible suspect.


You may have heard of cold and cough as a side effect of eating and drinking too cold because your body reacts to it by tightening the muscles in the airways, which can narrow them into bronchospasm. This condition is typically linked with asthma, making you more likely to develop symptoms during its attack. Bronchospasm happens in people who have asthma and allergies as well, but also in people without these problems. It is often caused by cold or otherwise harsh foods or drinks.

Bronchospasm is when the airways suddenly become exposed to cold temperatures, which causes a severe reaction by the body.


If you have asthma, your cough may be because of an allergic reaction after eating ice cream. People with asthma might experience an attack if they eat ice cream, which could be dangerous. People may have reactions when they eat ice cream, like headaches, heart palpitations, skin rashes, or hives. This happens when they ingest sulfites (such as those found in wines) that are added to the ingredients.

Thick Mucus

Eating ice cream travels down your esophagus, an anatomically-connected tube to the windpipe. Fluids in the airway typically consist of mucus and saliva, but when the temperature is not ideal, some liquids are cooled to turn into solid materials. Your trachea is a tube in the front of your throat that carries air to your lungs, and it’s filled with mucus which you should be clearing out. When ice cream is cold enough, it causes the production of thick mucus to warm the body up. Unfortunately, when the body becomes too uncomfortable with all the mucus in the throat, you begin to cough until it’s completely gone and your nostril isn’t blocked anymore.

This also explains that after eating a lot of ice cream, you tend to produce a lot of saliva and phlegm, which can be the case with other frozen drinks and foods.


If you have a throat infection, you may experience airway narrowing, which can cause coughing after eating ice cream.

Sugar Content in Ice Cream

The sugar content in ice cream causes a spike in blood glucose levels, which increases saliva production. This can cause you to cough up phlegm and mucus as your body tries to regulate itself. Apart from this, the high sugar content in ice cream can also lead to heartburn, which may cause coughing up phlegm as your body tries to digest the food.

High-Fat Content

The high-fat content can also increase phlegm production as it may clog your airways or block your nose, causing you to cough.

Cold or Flu

You may also cough up phlegm after eating ice cream because of a cold or the flu, which can cause inflammation in your airways.

Is Coughing After Eating Ice Cream Good or Bad?

Ice cream is a popular summertime dessert that many people love. However, when you inhale ice cream or eat it as a snack, your body may react by coughing and sneezing. The causes of coughing after eating ice cream are multiple and include both physical and non-physical reasons. The coldness of food can cause your throat to be moved and make you cough, whereas food allergies are another reason for coughs after eating ice cream.

Many people wonder why I cough after eating ice cream. But, if you sit down and think about the cause of the cough, it’s easy to understand. Coughing is a reflex that your body initiates during inhalation to remove any particulates. This may have become lodged in your throat while eating. It is a reflex that helps clear the lungs of mucus, irritants, and foreign particles. Coughing after eating ice cream happens when the cold of the ice cream pushes our throat. Also, when we have eaten something that can cause a cough, such as nuts.

What to Do to Stop Coughing After Eating Ice Cream?

This section will explore how to stop coughing after eating ice cream and improve your experience.

When eating ice cream, it is not uncommon for people to cough after. Therefore, coughing after eating ice cream is a common phenomenon that many people experience. There are several possible reasons behind this which are discussed in this blog post.

You should take specific immediate steps to stop coughing after eating ice cream. Like some people find drinking water helps prevent a cough after eating ice cream, while others find that sipping on tea helps with this. The best thing you can do is to drink plenty of water before and after eating ice cream, so your throat doesn’t get dry.

Drinking something warm such as hot tea or coffee, will help dilate the throat and allow you to inhale more easily. You can also cover your mouth with your hand, which will help you inhale more efficiently. It will also stop the coughing fit. The best way to stop coughing after eating ice cream is by rinsing your mouth with water or sucking on a mint. If you don’t have access to either of these, you can try gargling with water or chewing on gum.

Wrap Up

This blog post stated a few possible causes of coughing when eating ice cream or other cold food. If you’re experiencing this problem, it can be very frustrating. But there is a solution to it, so there is no need to panic. Your best bet is to consult your doctor, who can figure out the cause in your case and help manage it. You can also tackle it yourself if the issue is a minor one.

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