Coffee. Tea. Hot chocolate. Mulled wine. When the mercury drops outside, there’s nothing better than coming in from the cold to enjoy a hot drink. And here’s something else to feel good about—certain hot beverages may have benefits for people with gout.1 Read on to learn more about hot drinks and gout: which ones are best.
Choose your hot drinks carefully
Even though heredity is mostly to blame for gout, it’s still important to be mindful of what you eat—especially if you suffer with gout attacks.2,3 The same is true when it comes to drinks.1 Consider how these hot beverages can affect your risk of gout flares:
Research shows that consuming coffee may be associated with a lower risk of gout.1,4 According to an online article published by the Cleveland Clinic, drinking coffee each day may help reduce uric acid levels by slowing the breakdown of purines into uric acid and speeding up the elimination of uric acid from the body.1 But before you make changes to your coffee intake, be sure to check with your doctor.5 People with certain health conditions or who take medications that might be affected by caffeine should limit their coffee intake or avoid it altogether.5
While research has shown that coffee consumption may be beneficial for people with gout, the same may not be true for tea.6 A 2016 review of the results of nine studies showed there does not appear to be a significant relationship between tea consumption and the risk of gout.6 And a more recent study, conducted in 2021 on 7,644 Chinese men and women, found that tea consumption may actually be associated with a higher risk of gout—particularly in men.7
Though there is little scientific evidence that a cup of warm milk at bedtime can promote a good night’s sleep, low-fat and fat-free dairy products have been proven to lower the uric acid level in the body.8 It is believed that certain proteins in these foods help eliminate uric acid from the bloodstream and thus reduce the risk of gout attacks.8 In addition to helping reduce the amount of uric acid in the body, low-fat and fat-free dairy products contain nutrients that deliver many other health benefits.9
Hot water (with lemon)
According to an online article published by the Cleveland Clinic, people who drink five to eight cups of water each day are less likely to have gout symptoms.1 This is because water is believed to help flush excess uric acid out of the body.1 (If you find plain water to be too bland, consider adding fresh-squeezed lemon for flavor.10)
As tempting as it may be to ask for a pumpkin spice latte at the coffee shop, think twice before you order. Like sugary foods, sweet beverages are associated with an increased risk of gout flares.1 (They also can be loaded with saturated fat and empty calories.11) Consider skipping the added sugar and try a skim or low-fat latte to reap the benefits of both coffee and low-fat dairy.
Most people associate drinking beer with a higher risk of gout flares, but it’s not the only alcoholic beverage that can increase your risk of these painful attacks.8 Unfortunately, all alcoholic beverages, including wine, are associated with a higher risk of gout flares.8 If you suffer with gout attacks, it’s best to steer clear of buttered rum, mulled wine and other hot drinks that contain alcohol.8
Stay in touch with your doctor
If you’ve been experiencing gout flares more often than usual, contact your doctor. He or she may want to start you on a urate-lowering therapy (ULT; allopurinol, for example) if you’re not already taking one.12 (If you’ve already been prescribed a ULT, you may need a dose adjustment.12) Your doctor may also recommend a colchicine product such as Mitigare® (Colchicine) 0.6mg Capsules or Generic Colchicine Capsules to help prevent gout flares.13
Mitigare® is a registered trademark of Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.
Colchicine 0.6 mg capsules are contraindicated in patients with renal or hepatic impairment who are currently prescribed drugs that inhibit both P-gp and CYP3A4. Combining these dual inhibitors with colchicine in patients with renal or hepatic impairment has resulted in life-threatening or fatal colchicine toxicity. Patients with both renal and hepatic impairment should not be given Mitigare®.
Fatal overdoses have been reported with colchicine in adults and children. Keep Mitigare® out of the reach of children.
Blood dyscrasias such as myelosuppression, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia and aplastic anemia have been reported with colchicine used in therapeutic doses.
Monitor for toxicity and, if present, consider temporary interruption or discontinuation of colchicine.
Drug interaction with dual P-gp and CYP3A4 inhibitors: Co-administration of colchicine with dual P-gp and CYP3A4 inhibitors has resulted in life-threatening interactions and death.
Neuromuscular toxicity and rhabdomyolysis may occur with chronic treatment with colchicine in therapeutic doses, especially in combination with other drugs known to cause this effect. Patients with impaired renal function and elderly patients (including those with normal renal and hepatic function) are at increased risk. Consider temporary interruption or discontinuation of Mitigare®.
The most commonly reported adverse reactions with colchicine are gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.