Mucus accumulates in the respiratory system due to infections, such as the common cold or flu. While sticky mucus drips down the back of the throat, many people feel uncomfortable when they drink milk and notice that mucus has become more irritating. But does drinking milk really increase mucus production?
Mucus is moved towards the back of the throat by microscopic hair cells called “cilia”, where it is then swallowed. If some people drink milk or other dairy products, their throat may feel coated and mucus is harder to swallow.
Studies have found milk intake was not associated with increased nasal secretions, coughing, nose symptoms or congestion. Some doctors say that milk thickens saliva, which may coat the throat and give the perception of more mucus, but it does not cause the body to produce more mucus.
It is important to note that this feeling might occur with some people and not others. As a side note, frozen dairy products can soothe a sore throat because their texture is different than milk.