are cough drops bad for keto
Ricola Cough Drops

Are Cough Drops Bad for Keto? Discover Everything You Need To Know!

Introduction: Are Cough Drops Bad for Keto?

Do you love indulging in cough drops to soothe a sore throat? You may wonder if cough drops are viable on a keto diet. After all, these little drops of relief often contain sugar and consuming sugar is a big no-no on the keto diet.

In this article, we’ll dive deeply into whether cough drops are bad for keto. We’ll also explore the types of keto-friendly cough drops and the ones you should avoid. Whether you’re just starting the keto diet or a seasoned pro, this article will provide everything you need about cough drops and keto. So, let’s get started!

Understanding the Keto Diet

Custom Keto Diet

Before answering whether cough drops are bad for keto, we must understand the keto diet. The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet designed to put your body in ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs.

You must limit your carb intake to less than 50 grams daily to achieve ketosis(1). This means you must avoid foods high in carbs, such as bread, pasta, and sugar. You’re encouraged to consume healthy fats on the keto diet, such as avocado, nuts, and olive oil.
Now that we understand the keto diet, let’s explore whether cough drops are bad for keto.

What are cough drops?

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Have you ever had a cough that wouldn’t go away? Maybe you turned to cough drops for some relief. But if you’re on the keto diet, you might wonder if cough drops are off-limits. We will explore the world of cough drops and their compatibility with the keto diet.

Cough drops, known as throat lozenges, are small medicated tablets that dissolve slowly in the mouth(2). They can help alleviate coughs, lubricate the throat, and soothe irritated tissues. However, not all cough drops are created equal, and some can contain high amounts of sugar or other ingredients that may not be keto-friendly.

There are various types of cough drops on the market, and they can differ in terms of their ingredients and purpose. Some cough drops contain the anesthetic benzocaine, while others use eucalyptus oil or menthol to provide relief. Non-menthol cough drops may use zinc gluconate glycine or pectin as an oral demulcent. Some cough drops also contain dextromethorphan, which is a cough suppressant. Other ingredients, such as honey and various herbs, can also be found in cough drops. Knowing the ingredients in the cough drops you’re using is essential to determine whether or not they’re suitable for the keto diet.

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Are cough drops bad for keto?

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Cough drops are commonly used to relieve sore throat and cough. For those following the keto diet, it is essential to consider the impact of cough drops on ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body burns fat for energy instead of glucose. The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that promotes ketosis. Some cough drops contain sugar or high amounts of carbohydrates that can affect ketosis. However, keto-friendly cough drops are safe to use while on the keto diet.

To determine the effect of cough drops on the keto diet, it is necessary to analyze the ingredients. Cough drops typically contain menthol, a local anesthetic that provides a cooling sensation to relieve cough and sore throat. Menthol is keto-friendly and does not have any effect on ketosis. However, some cough drops may contain sugar or high amounts of carbohydrates. It is essential to choose sugar-free cough drops with low carbohydrate content. Some cough drops use alternative sweeteners such as xylitol or erythritol, which are keto-friendly and do not affect ketosis.

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Ricola Mountain Herb Sugar-Free Herb Cough Drops are a popular remedy for coughs and sore throats. The unique blend of ten herbs grown in the Swiss mountains, including peppermint, thyme, and lemon balm, provides a delicious flavor and natural relief. The addition of menthol as a cough suppressant offers additional comfort.

As a sugar-free option, Ricola cough drops are suitable for the keto diet. The slides contain 4.8mg of menthol as the active ingredient, a carb-free substance. The inactive ingredients in the depths, such as caramel color and a natural flavor, are also keto-friendly.

The herbal blend used by Ricola is grown using natural farming guidelines, making it an excellent option for those looking for natural remedies on the keto diet. The sugar-free nature of the cough drops also makes them ideal for individuals with diabetes under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Compared to other prevalent cough and throat drop brands, such as Halls, Ludens, and Vick’s, Ricola stands out for its unique blend of herbal ingredients and lack of sugar. While individual preferences may vary, Ricola cough drops are keto-friendly for those needing cough or sore throat relief.

Other’s examples of keto-friendly cough drops include Halls Sugar-Free Cough Drops and Luden’s Throat Drops Sugar-Free Wild Cherry. These cough drops are sweetened with alternative sweeteners and do not contain sugar or high amounts of carbohydrates. It is essential to read the labels carefully to determine the carbohydrate content and avoid cough drops that contain sugar or high amounts of carbohydrates.

In conclusion, cough drops can be safe to use while on the keto diet if they are sugar-free and low in carbohydrates. Keto-friendly cough drops such as Halls Sugar-Free Cough Drops and Luden’s Throat Drops Sugar-Free Wild Cherry suit those following the keto diet. It is essential to check the labels carefully and avoid cough drops that contain sugar or high amounts of carbohydrates that can affect ketosis.

Alternatives to cough drops on keto

Suppose you’re following a keto diet and experiencing a cough. In that case, several natural remedies can provide relief without compromising your keto lifestyle.

One excellent option is ginger, which has been shown to relax the muscles that constrict airways(3). You can eat it raw or mix it with keto-friendly sweeteners like stevia and stir it into hot tea. Hot drinks are generally more effective at soothing a cough than room-temperature ones, so sipping hot tea or water can be beneficial.

Another excellent natural remedy is saline irrigation with a neti pot, which flushes out irritants and clears away mucus(4). You can also inhale steam from a hot shower or a bowl of hot water with essential oils like peppermint to calm and moisturize your airways.

Menthol, found in peppermint, can also be effective in opening up airways and reducing coughing(5). Gargling salt water and using a humidifier (with caution) are other options that can help soothe a cough(6).

Elderberry extract and herbs like an ivy leaf, marshmallow root, thyme, and aniseed can be mixed into a keto-friendly syrup to relieve cough.

However, it’s important to note that some of these herbs may interact with medications or have side effects, so it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider before trying them.

While cough drops can be effective, choosing ones with airway-opening menthol is essential to get the most benefit. Honey can also be used as a natural cough remedy. Still, it should be avoided on a keto diet due to its high sugar content.

Always consult your healthcare provider before trying new remedies, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking medication.


We’ve reached the end of our article about natural cough remedies. If you’re on a keto diet and searching for cough drop alternatives, you’re in luck because there are plenty of keto-friendly options.

Ginger is a fantastic option that can help relax your airways’ muscles. You can consume it raw or mix it with honey and add it to hot tea. Staying hydrated is also essential, so drink plenty of water to help soothe your throat and thin out the mucus.

There are many other natural remedies that you can try, including breathing in steam from a hot shower or bowl of hot water with essential oils like peppermint, gargling saltwater, using a humidifier (with caution), and mixing herbs such as ivy leaf, marshmallow root, thyme, and aniseed into a syrup. Additionally, cough drops that contain airway-opening menthol can be effective.

While honey is a natural remedy that is effective for coughs, it is not considered keto-friendly as it is high in carbohydrates and sugar. Instead, keto-friendly alternatives like sugar-free cough drops, hot tea or water, ginger, and essential oils can soothe a cough.

In conclusion, natural remedies can be an excellent alternative to traditional cough drops. However, they may only work for some and could interact with medications. Always consult your healthcare provider before trying new remedies, particularly if you have underlying medical conditions. Stay healthy, and take care of yourself!


(1)Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss

(2)Throat lozenge – Wikipedia

(3) Effects of Ginger and Its Constituents on Airway Smooth Muscle Relaxation and Calcium Regulation

(4) What Is a Neti Pot and Why Should You Use One?

(5) Sweet Taste and Menthol Increase Cough Reflex Thresholds

(6) Salt Water Gargle: Sore Throat, How To, Recipe, and More

Joseph Emb
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Hi there! I'm Joseph Emb, a nutritionist and certified personal trainer passionate about helping people reach their health and fitness goals. With over ten years of experience in the health and wellness industry, I've accumulated a great deal of knowledge that I love to share with my readers. I have a degree in exercise science and am proud to have been featured in reputable publications such as Men's Health and Women's Fitness. My goal with my blog is to inspire and empower others to take control of their health and live happier healthier lives.