Dining

This Is Probably Why You Suffer from Meat Sweats

A doctor explains the science behind it
Barbecue Smoked Brisket
Photo: Devon Knight

The dreaded meat sweats. Almost everyone who has feasted on a rack of ribs, tasted the glory that is smoked Central Texas-style brisket, downed a plate of choucroute garnie or indulged in a classic steakhouse dinner has experienced the mysterious condition firsthand. But what causes them? Science hasn’t been able to back up or explain the phenomenon. To get to the bottom of this sweaty dilemma, the team at First We Feast turned to Dr. Stuart Farrimond, who explains:

There is no real scientific research about ‘meat sweats’ per se, but we do know that eating food increases the body’s temperature. This is called the thermic effect of food, and it stands to reason that eating enough food could raise the body temperature enough to cause sweating.

However, since it takes longer for the body to process high-protein foods, the meat sweats often don’t hit until we’re already asleep.

The body’s thermostat turns down at night time . . . which probably explains why large meals late in the day cause sweats in the middle of the night: The surge in body temperature happens at about the same time our body should be its coldest.

This means a late dinner could make you wake up in a less than ideal state, in need of a shower pronto. Looking to avoid rising with a meaty hangover? Maybe save that rib eye for lunch.

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