Cough is too annoying to deal with. Not to mention the irritating sticky mucus, stuffy nose, and choked throat that comes along with it! Everyone - from your mother to the friendly neighborhood uncle, and grannies – will give you a list of foods to eat or drink. And, you will be firmly advised to keep milk and other dairy products off the list. 

It is a common belief that milk and dairy products increase the production of phlegm and further aggravate cough. But, can really drinking milk worsen cough? Or is it just one of those myths that everyone believes to be true? 

Here’s the Fact

 glass of milk with a quotation written on effects of milk on cough =
The belief that milk increases the production of phlegm has been around for quite some time. However, drinking milk when you have a cough or cold does not produce more phlegm. 

According to the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, ‘there is no evidence that consumption of milk and dairy products during a cough increases the production of mucus.  Although, it may make people feel their mucus/phlegm thicker because the texture of milk gets coated on the tongue, thus thickening the saliva. And this thickening of saliva gives the perception of more mucus around your throat than it would normally be. 

Now, as it is proven that there is no association between milk intake and mucus production, so do not cut milk and dairy products from your child's diet due to this belief. It can lead to a deficiency of nutrients such as calcium and protein. 

Stay informed to take care of your health!

For any query related to cough, cold or its remedies you can consult an Allergist and Immunologist at

About the Author

Neha Garg

Neha Garg is a clinical dietician and health writer with an outstanding academic and clinical background. A post-graduate from the prestigious Lady Irwin College, she was also a Delhi University topper. With a work experience spanning more than a decade, she has worked for renowned healthcare organizations such as Indraprastha Apollo Hospital and HealthifyMe. An avid reader and health enthusiast, she also develops customized diet plans along with personal diet consultations. Presently, she is working with EbixCash as a senior medical writer.

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