Why Does My Nose Get Stuffy When I Drink Coffee?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 26th, 2023

Do you love the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning but find that drinking it has an unexpected side effect? Does your nose get stuffy every time you take a sip?

If so, then this blog post is for you! We’ll explore why this happens and how to prevent it so you can enjoy your cup of joe without any discomfort.

Man with clothespin suffering from runny nose at home. Space for text

Reasons why coffee makes your nose stuffy

Coffee can make your nose stuffy for a few different reasons. It could be because of an allergic reaction, dehydration, and pre-existing sinus conditions.

Allergies to coffee

Coffee allergies can produce a stuffy nose in some people. Coffee allergies occur when the immune system recognizes components in coffee as alien and responds with a variety of symptoms, including a stuffy or runny nose.

Severe caffeine allergies can cause anaphylaxis symptoms such as difficulty breathing due to swollen throat or tongue. If you suspect you may be allergic to coffee, it is important to speak with your doctor to determine the best course of action.

Quitting caffeine may help reduce the severity of your allergy symptoms. Still, speaking with your doctor before drastically changing your diet or lifestyle is important.

Can you develop an allergy to coffee over time?

It is possible to develop an allergy to coffee over time, especially if you are prone to allergies or are sensitive to caffeine. Allergies are caused by an overreaction of the body’s immune system to a particular substance, and in the case of coffee, this could be due to proteins.

People with allergies can experience various symptoms when they consume coffee, such as runny noses, sneezing, and skin rashes. In more severe cases, anaphylaxis symptoms may occur, and it is important to seek medical attention if this happens.

If you drink coffee regularly and find that it gives you a stuffy nose or other allergy-like symptoms, it may be worth discussing with your doctor as there may be steps you can take to reduce your allergy to the substance over time.

Caffeine sensitivity

Caffeine sensitivity can also cause a stuffy nose when drinking coffee. People with caffeine sensitivity experience a heightened response to the stimulant, and this can include nasal congestion. Symptoms might include a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes.

Caffeine sensitivity can be mistaken for an allergy, but the two differ. Caffeine sensitivity is generally caused by consuming too much caffeine and its effects on your body. It is important to be aware of how much caffeine you consume and to watch out for any symptoms that might arise from overconsumption.

If you notice that your nose gets stuffy when drinking coffee, it could be a sign that you have caffeine sensitivity, and you should reduce your intake accordingly.

Dehydration from caffeine leads to nasal congestion

Caffeine is a diuretic that encourages your body to lose more water than it takes in. This can result in excessive urination or diarrhea, leading to dehydration. 

It can lead to your sinus passages drying out and increased pressure on your face. This can cause your nose and sinuses to become blocked with mucus and make it harder for the cilia to push out debris, bacteria, and viruses. 

Therefore, if you notice a relationship between caffeine and a stuffy nose, it could be due to dehydration caused by caffeine consumption.

The role of caffeine in nasal congestion

Caffeine can play a role in nasal congestion, as it can cause inflammation of the nasal passages and increase mucus production. It has been found to increase the severity of symptoms in those with allergies and sensitivities, and those with asthma may find that their airways are not functioning as well when they consume caffeine.

Even those without allergies or asthma may experience a stuffy nose when drinking coffee, as dehydration from caffeine can cause the mucus to thicken, leading to a blocked nose. Quitting caffeine may help reduce the symptoms of a stuffy nose and other respiratory issues caused by caffeine.

What can you do if drinking coffee causes a stuffy nose?

Close up side view of attractive african woman smelling scent of hot beverage.Low key portrait of woman with directional backlit ambient light holding cup with coffee.

If drinking coffee causes your nose to become stuffy, you can do a few things. First, try to determine the root cause of your stuffy nose. It could be due to an allergy to coffee, caffeine sensitivity, or dehydration from caffeine.

If it’s an allergy or sensitivity, you may want to consider giving up coffee entirely or using a decaffeinated version. If it’s dehydration from caffeine, then you should increase your water intake and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

Additionally, staying hydrated can help reduce the symptoms of nasal congestion associated with drinking coffee. Finally, if you suspect anxiety contributes to your stuffy nose after drinking coffee, some lifestyle changes can help reduce stress and anxiety.


Drinking coffee can cause a stuffy nose in some people due to allergies, caffeine sensitivity, or dehydration. Coffee allergies can be developed over time and are caused by the compounds in coffee. Caffeine sensitivity can also lead to a stuffy nose, as caffeine is a diuretic and can increase the amount of dehydration.

To help reduce the risk of a stuffy nose, staying hydrated and limiting your intake of caffeinated beverages are important. Consulting with a medical professional may be beneficial if you experience consistent nasal congestion when drinking coffee.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.