The Best and Worst Drinks To Consume if You’re Battling Seasonal Allergies

Getty Images/Phiromya Intawongpan
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may notice that sipping on certain beverages or eating certain foods can make your symptoms potentially worse or better (think congestion triggered by a glass of rosé or nasal passage clearing from mint tea).

But it's not just all in your *stuffy* head—literally. Some evidence indicates there's a possible link between dietary habits and seasonal allergies. In short, some things you drink (or eat) can potentially influence—for better or worse—the onset and prevalence of some types of allergy symptoms.

According to Ginger Hultin, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist, and author of Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Prep and How to Eat to Beat Disease Cookbook, dietary habits and seasonal allergies go hand in hand. “In general, beverages that are hydrating and offer anti-inflammatory properties will benefit your body, reduce allergy symptoms, and strengthen the immune system during allergy season," Hultin says. The same goes for certain foods. “This is because our bodies tend to mistake proteins, which are found in certain foods, as pollen,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and author of The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook. Today, we're delving in the best drinks for allergies, and the ones you should avoid to help manage your symptoms (and excessively runny nose).

Experts In This Article

How to know if you have seasonal allergies

First and foremost, it's important to determine whether your symptoms are related to seasonal allergies, or if something larger is at play, like a developing cold or flu.

“One of the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies is what's called 'allergic rhinitis,’ or basically, sneezing and a runny or stuffy nose,” Hultin says. “However, other common symptoms include itchy, swollen, watery eyes, and for some, chest tightness and coughing or wheezing." These symptoms can also be paired with headache and fatigue, too. Ultimately, it's important to monitor your symptoms, especially if they begin to worsen. Although, when in doubt, it's best to consult a medical professional to manage your ongoing symptoms.

“In general, beverages that are hydrating and offer anti-inflammatory properties will benefit your body, reduce allergy symptoms, and strengthen the immune system during allergy season."
—Ginger Hultin, RDN, author of Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Prep

What drinks help with allergies?

Nettle Tea

According to Hultin, nettles are a natural remedy for allergic rhinitis and is potentially one of the best home remedies for allergies. “There's evidence that nettles can help reduce inflammation and even calm allergy symptoms, specifically,” she says. The good news? It's tea form is pleasant to sip on, and can provide potential allergy symptom relief. Nettle tea resembles green tea thanks to its similar earthy, grassy notes. If it’s too bland, add a bit of manuka honey, which is antimicrobial by nature and can provide further immune-boosting benefits, making it one of the best teas for allergies on the list.


Kombucha is typically praised for its gut-boosting benefits, however, Hultin says it can help bolster your overall health to help combat seasonal allergies. “Some research suggests that probiotics help improve quality of life during allergy season, and though there's much more to discover as to why this is, and how best to dose probiotics, fermented beverages, like kombucha, offer a natural source of these gut-healthy bacteria,” she says.

Lavender Tea

One way to get a good night's rest while battling a stuffy nose? Sip on some lavender tea, says Hutlin. “Used as an herbal remedy for hundreds of years, lavender tea is commonly used as a relaxing agent to ease and fight stress, as well as improve sleep,” she says. These three benefits are welcome year-round, of course—however, they should definitely be prioritized during allergy season, when congestion can impact the quality of your sleep.

Green Tea

You may already be drinking green tea regularly; which is good news considering that green tea antihistamine properties can help with mitigating seasonal allergy symptoms. “Green tea is another beverage that's been shown to have antihistamine properties to help relieve seasonal allergy symptoms,” Harris-Pincus says. “Quercetin, an antioxidant found in green tea, helps prevent immune responses in those with pollen, animal dander or dust allergies,” she says.

Rosehip Tea

When battling seasonal allergies, boosting immunity should always be top of mind, and rosehip tea can potentially help with that. “By offering a rich source of vitamin C, rosehip also contains immune-supporting properties,” Hultin says. Get this—just one cup of rosehip offers 540 milligrams of vitamin C, or about seven times the recommended daily dose for women.

According to Hultin, research suggests that rosehips, and thus rosehip tea, may be a supportive addition to those with seasonal allergies, as a result of rosehips’ high antioxidant content. Antioxidants help fight inflammation in the body and provide protection against damage due to free-radicals and oxidative stress, as well as from sickness and disease—which includes exacerbation of seasonal allergy symptoms, too.

Lemon Water or Lemonade

Getting enough vitamin C during allergy season is the name of the game, says Harris-Pincus. “Foods high in vitamin C help support the immune system and reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies, so you might want to generously squeeze lemon juice into hot or cold water or make a batch of healthy, homemade lemonade, using fresh lemons, as a refreshing way to take your hydration up a notch and get extra vitamin C benefits, at once,” she says.

What drinks make allergies worse?


So, what ingredients in drinks commonly trigger allergies? It's simple: alcohol, at least for many folks. Most (if not all) alcohol and allergies don't mix well together, and are one of the types of drinks causing histamine release to be aware of during this time of the year. Beer is fermented, just like kombucha, but while kombucha contains probiotics, beer sadly does not. In fact, “beer can worsen seasonal allergies due to its histamine content, which bacteria and yeast produce during the fermentation process,” Harris-Pincus says.

“Studies show beer aggravates allergy symptoms, so it’s best to steer clear of it if you're experiencing seasonal allergies,” Hultin adds.


Similar to beer, wine can also exacerbate seasonal allergies. “Wine’s been shown to be associated with increased likelihood of triggering many allergy symptoms, like sneezing, a congested or runny nose, itching, flushed skin, headache and asthma,” Harris-Pincus says. Histamines are a culprit again here. “There are actually very specific studies showing that red and white wine are triggers, especially for women,” says Hultin.

Researchers found subjects that consumed wine experienced greater incidences of common allergy symptoms, such as nasal blockage and discharge, sneezing, and other respiratory problems. “This study links greater incidence of allergy symptoms and respiratory conditions, in particular, with the consumption of both red and white wine,” Hultin adds.

Bloody Mary

A brunch favorite and staple, Bloody Marys (aka, spicy tomato juice that’s spiked with vodka), may taste great going down that morning after a long night out, but you may regret it shortly after once your allergy symptoms flare up. Both alcohol and spicy food can irritate and worsen seasonal allergies, so a spicy (or even mild) Bloody Mary isn’t your best beverage of choice when you’re looking to better manage allergy symptoms. “When infused with black pepper or hot peppers, it’ll mimic the symptoms of allergies and lead to increased flushing of the skin and a runny nose,” Hultin says.

Sweet Drinks

Any kind of sweet beverage that's heavy in its use of added sweeteners can exacerbate allergy symptoms, and are potentially one of the worse drinks for allergies. “Although there's not as clear of a link between excess sugar intake and severity of allergies specifically, it has been shown that a high intake of added sugars can cause low-grade, chronic inflammation,” Hultin says. That's to say, anything you can do during allergy season to calm inflammation may also help alleviate symptoms across the board. Hilton recommends women reduce their added sugar intake to no more than 24 grams per day, "while the average man should consumes no more than 36 grams per day,” she says.

Key takeaways

TL;DR? Drinking hydrating beverages high in antioxidants, like tea, and vitamins, like water with lemon, can help alleviate your seasonal allergy symptoms. Meanwhile, reducing your consumption if alcohol and drinks with added sugar may prevent symptoms from feeling worse. Cheers to that.

A registered dietitian delves into the benefits of kombucha:

Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.
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