– Why do people get hungry after swimming?


– Why do people get hungry after swimming?

In: 8

Swimming burns a lot of calories since you’re fighting the resistance of the water, and also losing heat to the water. Water is relatively heavy and denser than moving through air.

So by swimming and moving arms and legs in it, you’re pushing against a lot of water.
Water also is generally cooler than the body and the body does have to work to work harder to maintain the right temperature. ~~[About 44% more calories are burned in cool water.](https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15902988/)~~
Adding this in after:
My bad, I misread the study. Energy *Expenditure* are actually about the same when working out in cool or neutral waters.

>EE was similar for the cold and neutral water conditions, averaging 505 +/- 22 (+/- standard deviation) and 517 +/- 42 kcal, respectively (P = NS)

Energy *intake* is significantly higher.

>EI after the cold condition averaged 877 +/- 457 kcal, 44% and 41% higher (P < 0.05) than for the neutral and resting conditions, respectively.

So people who were in colder water ate more, but they burned only slightly higher calories than the neutral water temperature.

>White suggested that body temperature might have some influence over post-exercise appetite.

>A previous study by her colleague Dr. Rudolph Dressendorfer indicated that body temperature at the end of exercise can affect post-exercise appetite.)

So it’s likely that the cooler body temperature signals the body to intake more food. The rest about swimming being a taxing activity just like any workout still holds though.


Body uses glycogen during workout or any other physical activity, and blood sugar drops.
Glycogen is the “on hand” energy in muscles.
Blood glucose is then used to replenish the glycogen stores that were just used to power the muscles.
Lower blood sugar signals hunger.
Happens with pretty much every physical activity. It’s why people get hungry after the gym, or sports.

This cycle signals the feeling of hunger so the body can try and replenish what it just used moving against the water, and keeping the body warm while in the water.

Food is fuel. Body burns more fuel doing things.

Swimming is *really hard work.*

Water’s thick, so you have to push harder to move it out of the way/move forward than you would if you were moving through the air.

You’re usually using your whole body to do it – most swimming strokes mean that both your arms and your legs are working on something at the same time, which is harder than using just your legs.

You’re also often in cold water – almost all pools are set lower than body temp – so your body has to try to keep you warm. More hard work.

If you work hard for long enough, you’re going to need to eat something.

Resistance burns calories quickly. If you step in the mud and your shoe gets stuck. You need more energy and apply more power to get your foot out of the mud. Same concept with swimming through water. This extra energy/power comes at a cost. Stored calories and sugars/energies you’ve consumed thus far. So when your body says it’s low it tells you you’re hungry. Your body is like a car’s gas tank, it has a gauge the lower the gauge the more your brain says put more in and keep going. If you run out, you need to rest/sleep so your brain will keep you hungry to keep your energy up!.


It’s full body exercise and colder temps.

I discovered the hunger part after learning to submerge in cold to icy waters for progressively longer. You would not believe how hungry you’ll get after 30 mins in a cold body of water, or even a cold plunge pool. Google it and try it, you probably live near a spa/hotel/pool that has a specifically cold pool.