CPR First Aid

Why You Feel Hot After Eating?

People’s body temperature is in constant flux. This is generally nothing to worry about. It is just the body adapting to various factors, conditions, and stimuli. 

One phenomenon that needs to be looked at closer though is why your temperature may rise after a meal. What is going on with the body after eating? Why does the temperature rise afterwards?

Put on a big and ready your utensils as we learn more about why you feel hot after eating. 

The Ups and Downs of Body Temperature

As we just mentioned, a body’s temperature constantly changes throughout the day. Normal body temperature stays at 37 °C. The normal ranges largely vary between children and adults. 

However, generally, if it rises to a certain point, this can cause fevers in people. If it goes down significantly, it may be a sign of hypothermia. 

Our bodies need to maintain a core body temperature. That is why, depending on the various things that the body experiences, the hypothalamus in people’s brains regulate body temperature in a variety of ways. All of this is done to keep that core body temperature.

Apart from that, there are many other factors that are largely responsible for the changes in temperature.

As we just mentioned, a body’s temperature constantly changes throughout the day. Normal body temperature stays at 37 °C. The normal ranges largely vary between children and adults. However, generally, if it rises to a certain point, this can cause fevers in people.

Factors Affecting Temperature

Age

As the saying goes, the older one gets, the colder it gets. Yes, age is a big factor that affects the temperature in a person’s body. Once a person gets to 65 years of age and older, their average body temperature is lowered. As the person gets older, it keeps on decreasing.

This, and the combination of their weakened immunities, make constant fever monitoring important. Since their average temperatures are lower, the usual fever temperatures may be skewed.

On the opposite side of the age spectrum, children usually run hot. This is mostly due to their high metabolisms. 

Gender

For the most part, men and women share the same average body temperature. In some cases though, women have higher temperatures. While one study has observed this high temperature in women, the subject of temperature perception is different.

Despite running slightly hotter, women feel colder in certain situations This is largely because of the oestrogen in their bodies that reduces blood flow to their extremities. It is usually during ovulation periods. 

In addition, women’s metabolisms are lower than their male counterparts. The higher it is, the more energy is burnt and the warmer the extremities of the body are. 

The Time and Place

The time of the day largely contributes to a person’s temperature. When a person just wakes up, their temperatures are at their lowest levels. Then, throughout the day, it gradually rises. It reaches its highest levels during the afternoon.

Again, this is linked to metabolism. Upon waking, a person’s metabolism is just starting up. Eventually, it is in full swing, burning calories for warmth and energy. 

At the same time, the environment also plays a big part. Whether a person stays in a cold or tropical country may affect it as well. 

Physical Activity

Next up, we have physical activity. During exercise, muscles work hard and generate a ton of heat. This heat increases a person’s temperature. While the body generally releases this heat to maintain the core body temperature, in some cases, it fails to keep up.

The amount of heat generated by the muscles is largely dependent on how hard they are working and the intensity of the physical activity. 

This is compounded if a person is working in a hot room or environment. These make it harder for the body to release heat. The result is either dehydration or conditions such as heat stroke

Stress

Stress is another contributory factor to increased body temperature. When a person is stressed, hormones such as cortisol are released. The increase in body temperature is just a side effect of these hormones. 

In many ways, when a person feels hotter, it is the body’s way of deciding whether it will fight or flee. Adrenaline is another hormone released into the body, and the heat felt is a way of the body adapting and trying to decide what to do in stressful situations. 

Food Eaten

Finally, we have the food eaten. Usually, a person feels hot after eating. While the change is very minute, it is there. The question now is, why does this phenomenon take place? 

Why Does Your Temperature Increase After Eating?

As you may have guessed by now, you feel hot after eating due to – you guessed it – your metabolism. A continuous temperature monitor throughout eating will show a slight increase of a couple of degrees. 

About 30 minutes after eating, the body metabolises what you have eaten. This also starts the digestion process. This process is called thermogenesis, and it is when the body breaks down the food eaten to create energy.

This is mainly why a person feels warm after eating. Apart from this process though, certain foods can affect a body’s temperature. 

As you may have guessed by now, you feel hot after eating due to - you guessed it - your metabolism. A continuous temperature monitor throughout eating will show a slight increase of a couple of degrees. About 30 minutes after eating, the body metabolises what you have eaten.

Food That Increases Temperature

Ice Cream

At the top of our list is possibly the most surprising food that increases the temperature. It is ice cream. The refreshing dessert that people would assume would cool them down actually raises body temperature. 

This is largely due to the large amounts of fat and sugar in each scoop. These two things make it difficult for the body to digest. Thus, it needs to work overtime, generating more heat in the process. 

Ginger

Next up, we have ginger. This root vegetable is largely attributed to improving blood circulation within the body. It is this improved circulation that warms up the body more than usual and makes you feel warm after eating. This is why it is recommended to be added to the diets of older people.

Brown Rice

Then, we have brown rice. What makes this brown variant different from its white one? Why does a person feel warm after eating brown rice? 

The answer is in its complexity. When compared to other carbohydrates like white rice and pasta, brown rice is a complex carbohydrate. This means that it is much harder to digest, making the body work more throughout its slow metabolising process. 

What If I Feel Cold After Eating?

We have now established that generally, eating causes slight increments in a person’s body temperature. The food eaten may also contribute to that. What does it mean then if a person feels cold after eating?

There are many reasons why this could be the case. Things like low-calorie diets mean that there isn’t enough food to make energy to warm up the body. The body responds by lowering the temperature to conserve more energy.

Naturally, different kinds of food can also leave a person feeling cold. Ironically, peppers can leave a person feeling colder because it makes a person’s brain feel like it’s overheating. The response is to make the body sweat which may make people feel colder. 

We have now established that generally, eating causes slight increments in a person’s body temperature. The food eaten may also contribute to that. What does it mean then if a person feels cold after eating?

A Natural Rise

We have now established why you feel hot after eating. It is a natural rise in temperature brought about by either our body’s normal digestion processes or the food that we eat. 

Despite the fact that it is normal to feel warm after eating, changes in temperature must not be ignored easily. These changes may indicate medical emergencies or conditions that must be cared for. 

With the right first aid skills and knowledge, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any changes. 

Learn more about it through CPR First Aid’s Liverpool course today. 

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