​​Here’s Why You’re Hungry After Sex

Among the countless post-sex rituals, there’s one that seems to transcend time, age, and culture: eating. Even if you polished off a four-course meal earlier, you might find yourself making a trip from the bedroom to the kitchen to satisfy some post-coital cravings.
So, are post-sex munchies really a thing? And is there science to back up the phenomenon? We’ll answer those questions shortly. But first, we have to dispel a myth.

a man eating a slice of pizza

Working Up an Appetite in Bed? It’s Doubtful

The logical explanation for craving a double-cheeseburger after sex is that you simply need to replace all the calories you burned. All that tossing, turning, and an increased heart rate should mean you’re ready to refuel, right?

Research shows your hunger isn’t really caused by a caloric deficit (unless you haven’t eaten for a long time). According to a study from the University of Quebec at Montreal, men in their 20’s only burn about 4.2 calories per minute during sex. That’s 101 total calories throughout a 24-minute session (hypothetical).

So if sex doesn’t technically count as exercise, why does it make you so hungry?

The Link Between Hormones and Hunger

You probably knew hormones can influence multiple feelings, including horniness—but they can make you hungry too.

During sex, hormone levels naturally increase in both partners. (The same goes for masturbation, although the spikes can be more dramatic during partner sex, especially if you're engaging in foreplay.) After an orgasm[BB1] , your hormone levels plateau and taper off. That's when the ‘feel-good’ chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine kick in. Now, this is where things get interesting.

Studies have found that estrogen (the female sex hormone) suppresses hunger, while testosterone (the male sex hormone) stimulates it. That, combined with the fact that most men experience more intense hormone spikes than women during sex, explains why men tend to be ravenous after a session in the sheets.

So, if your female partner would rather cuddle than indulge in a platter of greasy nachos after sex, blame the hormones (in both of you).

Another factor that plays into the post-sex munchies comes from your nervous system.

“When an orgasm has occurred, our parasympathetic nervous system responsible for resting and eating becomes the more predominant system dominating activities in the body,” says Dr. Christopher Pavlinec. “When this occurs, we have further activation of our hunger receptors in order to try to push us towards food and sleeping.”

Getting hungry after sex is similar to getting hungry after a long night of drinking alcohol in that you’re probably not seeking out low-calorie health foods. In other words, we don’t like to eat clean after getting down and dirty.

Craving Junk Food After Sex? You’re Not Alone

Let’s be honest: you’re probably not mixing a protein shake or steaming up fresh vegetables after taking care of business. You want calorie-dense comfort food—and you’re not the only one.

In 2017, Yelp surveyed over 2,000 single millennials to find out what the most popular meal was after a sexual encounter. The answer was, emphatically, pizza. In fact, three quarters of respondents said they crave a slice of ‘za after sex, with tacos coming in “a distant second.”

So, next time you feel guilty about your 2,000-calorie feasts after taking care of business, just remember it’s a totally normal part of your sex life. Rarely is eating pizza justified by science, so why argue?

We at BlueChew, are big fans of pizza 🍕, and food in general! Find out today how we can help your “pre-pizza” activities with a stronger and harder erection!

Get Started