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.