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Why Do I Get Cold after I Eat?

By KD Morgan
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Do you ever feel cold after eating? Do you ever feel tired, dull or dizzy after eating? There are many opinions and interpretations as to the cause of these phenomena.

Some doctors attribute these experiences to low iron, low blood count, or low or high blood pressure. Others believe that a low carbohydrate diet will cause you to feel chilled after eating. Stress and intensity can also contribute to this experience. Most will agree that your blood is being drawn to and focused on your digestive process. This diverts blood away from your extremities as well as your cognitive brain.

In a healthy body, feeling chilled after eating is a sign of an imbalance in the digestion. With a properly functioning digestion, you should actually feel a little warm after eating. By firing up the digestive enzymes, which break down your food, heat is generated and can be felt throughout the body.

Without spending a lot of time investigating why you feel cold after eating, it is sufficient to say there is a weakness in your digestive process or you are eating improper foods. There are a few simple guidelines that will help strengthen your digestion and keep your body balanced during this natural process.

You should think of food as nourishing medicine for your bodies. While eating can be entertaining, you need to maintain an awareness of what you are consuming and how it effects your body and mind. If you feel cold after eating you should begin by eliminating cold, raw foods from your diet. This includes salads, ice cream, cold drinks, frozen foods as well as any vegetables or refrigerated foods that have not been cooked. Of course, since there are many nutritional benefits in cold, raw foods, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider to arrange an appropriate diet.

All foods should be lightly cooked, whether it be sautéed, steamed, baked or broiled. Your entire meal should be warm and nourishing. Favor sweet (wheat, milk and rice), sour (yogurt, tomatoes and citrus) and salty foods. Do not overeat, as that can also make you feel cold after eating. You should sip hot water during your meals and throughout the day. After your meals, a short walk (15-30 minutes) will aid your digestion.

A great aid to prevent feeling chilled after eating is to eat a “ginger pickle” about 15-30 minutes before your meals. This involves taking a thin slice of fresh ginger and a thin slice of fresh lime and sprinkling lightly with salt. Eating a ginger pickle before each meal will quickly strengthen your digestive enzymes, clear your liver and prepare your stomach and intestines for the process of digestion. This is also an excellent remedy for nausea, whether it is from flu, pregnancy or seasickness.

It is also important to have pleasant conversation during meals. You are metabolizing your emotions during meals along with the food itself so light enjoyable company and conversation is preferable. If you practice these guidelines for a minimum of ten days, you will strengthen your digestion and gain maximum value from the food you eat. By balancing your body so that you no longer feel cold after eating you will have a nice warm comforting experience, indicating a happy, healthy body.

Cold After Eating

There are a number of reasons that you may feel cold after eating. Most often, it is because of what you are or are not eating. The number of calories you eat is one of the biggest regulators your body has in terms of how much energy it produces, which in turn determines how hot or cold you feel. If you restrict how many calories you eat but are still getting adequate nutrition, you are more likely to have a lower body temperature, which may make you feel chilled after eating or even all the time.

Intermittent fasting is another type of dieting that may cause you to feel cold after you eat. People who do the IF diet follow a specific schedule. Some people fast for 14-16 hours a day and eat for 8-10 while others only eat every other day. While some doctors recommend IF dieting for some patients due to its health benefits, it should also be noted that it is more likely to leave you feeling chilled after eating. It may be because your blood sugar is dropping too low during your fasting windows. Talk to your doctor before starting an IF diet to ensure you do not damage your body.

Even some of the foods you eat can cause you to feel more chilled after eating. When you think of spicy chilis, you probably think of heat. While it's true that eating these types of foods will leave your mouth feeling hotter, eating chili-based foods can actually cause a cooling feeling throughout the rest of the body due to a chemical known as capsaicin. When ingested, the chemical causes your brain to think your body is overheating and to lower your temperature.

Peppermint tea, ice-cold drinks, or cold foods such as ice cream may also cause you to feel cold for about five minutes after eating.

Chills After Eating

If you consistently feel cold after you eat, it could indicate that you have a medical condition and should see a doctor.


Some people do not have as many healthy red blood cells as they should, which leads to a diagnosis of anemia. Anemic people often feel cold because their blood cells cannot carry enough oxygen throughout the body. Although body chills can happen at any time of day, many report that they feel it more often after eating. Other symptoms include irregular heartbeat, fatigue, and shortness of breath.


People who have uncontrolled hypothyroidism often feel cold after eating. Hypothyroidism occurs when your body's thyroid gland doesn't make enough of the hormones that are necessary to increase your metabolism and keep your digestive functions working properly. When your body isn't making enough energy and puts it all into digesting food, it may cause you to feel cold. If you have other signs of hypothyroidism, such as weight gain, fatigue, or muscle aches, bring them up at your next doctor's appointment. Diagnosis typically requires a blood test.

Idiopathic Postprandial Syndrome

Someone who experiences body shakes and chills a couple of hours after eating rather than directly after may be experiencing a symptom of idiopathic postprandial syndrome. IPS creates symptoms of low blood sugar levels in people who do not actually have low blood sugar. People who experience chills and shakes may also get dizzy, feel weak, or feel clammy. Although there is no specific cause of IPS, research shows it may be more prominent in people who eat foods high in carbs and sugar.

How To Stop Getting Chills After Eating

The best thing you can do to help yourself stop getting chills after you eat is to change your diet. Foods that are high in carbohydrates or sugar can wreak havoc on your system and confuse your brain. Instead, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Stick to healthy oils and whole grains as well. Fish, beans, and poultry are excellent choices for protein options, while fresh produce is preferred over canned items that may have additives. Be sure you get enough calories for your body's needs and avoid starting low-carb or keto diets without first talking to your doctor.

Of course, it is still okay to eat ice cream or other cold food and drinks from time to time, even if they are "junk" foods. When you do decide to indulge, don't be afraid to grab your favorite sweater or blanket and enjoy your treat in front of the television. After all, everybody deserves to relax with something yummy from time to time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes a sensation of coldness after eating?

Postprandial hypothermia is the term for the temperature dip the body may suffer after eating a meal. This may occur for a number of reasons, including exhaustion from food digestion, a shift in the body's circulation to the digestive system, or a slowdown of the metabolism. A heavy meal may also lead the body to shed heat and attempt to cool itself, giving the sensation of being chilly.

Is it common to feel cold after eating?

Yes, feeling chilly after eating is common, especially after a big meal. As was previously said, it typically is not a reason for worry. However, it is advised to see a doctor if the feeling of coldness lasts for a long time or is accompanied by other symptoms like nausea or dizziness.

Can certain foods make me feel colder after eating them?

While there isn't a single item that makes you feel chilly after eating, eating foods heavy in fat or sugar may slow down the metabolism and lower body temperature. The feeling of being chilly after eating may also be more noticeable if you are in a cold location.

How can I alleviate the feeling of coldness after eating?

Consider eating smaller meals more often, which helps maintain the metabolism and prevents excessive cooling, to lessen the sense of heaviness after eating. The body may also be kept warm by wearing warm clothes and consuming hot liquids.

Is there any way to prevent the feeling of coldness after eating?

It is advised to have balanced meals that are neither too big nor too tiny to prevent feeling chilly after eating. Smaller, more frequent meals may support a healthy metabolism and lessen the sensation of being chilly. Furthermore, it is important to drink enough water and get enough of the necessary vitamins and minerals.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon993716 — On Dec 08, 2015

Ah, no wonder. I'm always eating meals with my witch of a wife who only wants to talk about the chores that I don't do around the house. My emotions are metalomobizing into my meal as a cold putrid cesspool of loathing. It all makes sense now.

By anon986443 — On Jan 25, 2015

This was great advice. I think the naysayers are probably ignorant MD's. You can fire up your digestion; this is common advice in Chinese and Ayurvedic principles. I will be trying the pickle idea. But I have noticed that this is more of a problem for me since I cut way back on carbs and lost weight due to candida issues.

My PA told me that since I have low blood pressure I need lots of salt. I have a salty, buttery rice cake when I first get up in the morning and it perks me right up. I also drink a big mug of salty hot water (celtic salt). Sweet, salty and carb foods all bolster the metabolic rate in many ways. I never knew sour does the same.

By anon985030 — On Jan 13, 2015

I have to agree with for above comments. I have stumbled on this page a few times looking up reasons for being cold after eating. While I think some of the digestive information is getting closer to the point, most of this information is nonsense. By avoiding cold foods, you are just masking the problem. Especially raw vegetables. We've eaten them for thousands of years, and it's only benefited us.

Start with a good probiotic, or if you're completely zapped of energy and cold try adding a little coffee after a meal. This seems to work well for me.

By giddion — On Nov 08, 2012

@Perdido – It makes perfect sense to me. My cravings for hot soup don't kick in until the temperature dips, and I find myself avoiding salad and frozen yogurt until springtime.

There's nothing like a bowl of hot soup on a blustery day. I drink hot tea instead of ice water, and that adds to my body temperature.

If it's snowing outside, I always crave hot cocoa. It's a great way to thaw out after nearly developing frost bite while building a snowman!

By StarJo — On Nov 08, 2012

@lighth0se33 – I also stayed cold no matter what the temperature was, and I was always feeling tired. In general, I felt miserable, even after eating a big, hot meal.

I discovered that I was anemic. From the description of the way you felt, I'm surprised that your iron wasn't low.

By Perdido — On Nov 07, 2012

My husband thinks it's nonsense that I always feel cold after eating ice cream. He says it's all in my head.

He is a big guy, so a bowl of ice cream doesn't affect his body temperature much. He stays very warm regardless of what he eats.

I, however, get unpleasantly cold after eating ice cream. So, I don't even crave it in wintertime. He wants it year round, but I would rather go for a hot fudge brownie!

By lighth0se33 — On Nov 06, 2012

I found myself always feeling cold after I lost thirteen pounds. Even during the summer, when everyone else was cranking up the air conditioner, I was wrapped in a sweater.

What my coworkers found most odd was the fact that after we went to lunch together, I still huddled up in my sweater while they fanned themselves. They always felt warmer after a big meal, but it didn't affect me that way.

I got my thyroid levels and my iron checked, but I didn't have any issues there. Now that I've gained the weight back, I'm not as cold as I used to be. After lunch, I sometimes get so warm that I have to remove my outer layer of clothing.

By anon271743 — On May 28, 2012

It is actually very hard for many people to digest raw veggies. Chinese medicine suggests lightly cooking them so that we can absorb more of the nutrition from them. I think people need to listen to their own bodies and figure out what works for them.

By anon257263 — On Mar 26, 2012

I agree that this is ridiculous and unscientific. How can someone suggest to avoid raw vegetables (what could be more natural for humans to eat than raw veggies?) and to eat more sweet, sour, and salty things? Most of the population should avoid sugars, dairy, and exceeding their daily sodium intake so this recommended diet is dangerous and ridiculous.

I'm someone who gets sleepy and cold after I eat and trust me: it happens more when I fill up on a big warm meal.

The digestive process uses energy in your body. If you're one to never work out, drink a lot of caffeine, and are thin (not have much energy storage in fat), then these digestive processes are going to be using all the energy you have (including the energy that keeps you warm). The answer is to drink more water and build up some muscle so that you have more energy stores (this way they won't be depleted when you eat).

By anon250717 — On Feb 27, 2012

This is the most unscientific thing I've ever read. Blood doesn't get drawn away from the brain.

You don't 'fire up' digestive enzymes. Enzymes work of their own accord.

What does 'clear your liver' even mean?

If you are cold around meal times, then you won't find the cure reading this nonsense.

By anon83315 — On May 10, 2010

You are right. I was feeling cold after eating. After reading this article I realized that my digestive system may not be working properly. After start taking digestive enzymes, I do not feel cold after eating. Thanks, Jayson

By anon75235 — On Apr 06, 2010

what about vitamins, and other stuff? Feeling cold is normal with most people.

By anon43185 — On Aug 26, 2009

Begin by eliminating cold, raw foods from your diet? That might be good advice for someone whose only concern is feeling cold, but from a wider perspective, it's terrible advice.

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