It’s the stuff of legend: You take an overambitious trip to the nearest Brazilian churrascaria where you successfully mow down three skewers of meat. You’d sit well with your pride and full stomach if you weren’t sweating like you’d just hit your PB in a late-June 5K. All that meat can’t possibly be making you sweat. Can it? Meat sweats aren’t actually real. Are they? Science says yes.
“Meat sweats are a physical reaction some people can experience after eating large quantities of protein-rich foods,” says Verona Somarriba, MS, RDN, Clinical Nutrition Coordinator for the Division of General Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
What’s behind those meat sweats?
There are several things going on in your body that are causing that protein perspiration.
“It’s a cascade effect of multiple systems being activated in the body that lead to the excessive sweating,” says Somarriba. “Eating is a complex process that engages the brain, the mouth, salivary glands, the esophagus, digestive tract muscles, stomach, pancreas, gall bladder, and the liver. This process requires energy, and the type of food that is ingested determines how much energy the body will use to break it down—this is called thermogenesis.”
By Emily Shiffer