Why does Ice Cream Make you Thirsty? – (6 Reasons 4 SOLUTIONS!)

If you are thirsty for water after eating ice cream, you are not alone. It’s a common issue!

Like many frozen desserts, ice cream contains sugar and salt. It also contains dairy content, which can leave your throat dry afterward.

Plus the urge of the body to neutralize itself and the poor quality of ingredients are also important factors that can lead to dehydration after eating ice cream.

All in all, there are at least 6 reasons why people feel the need of drinking water after eating ice cream.

I’ll explain each one of them, and give you solutions on how you can prevent thirsting temptations after eating ice cream.

Why Does Ice Cream make you Thirsty? : 6 Basic Reasons

1. Sweet Content in Ice Cream

Eating something sweet triggers your liver to release a hormone (called FGF21). Once that hormone hits the bloodstream, it travels to the hypothalamus and signals to the brain that you’re thirsty.

That sensation is very much similar to why you may want to drink a glass of milk with cookies or a piece of cake with milk.

In short, when you eat ice cream, your body is trying to balance the sugar levels by adjusting it using other foods and drinks.

However, sugar is not the only ingredient to blame for thirst. There are many other reasons why people feel thirsty after eating ice cream. Next on the list is the sodium content.

2. Ice Cream has Sodium in it

It’s interesting how ice cream is made.

When ice cream is frozen, the water crystals expand and create a space between them. Salt is added to this mixture to lower the freezing point of the ice crystals and decrease the amount of time it takes for the ice cream to freeze.

But the salt can only be mixed with the ice cream during production. It’s important that no salt gets added after the ice cream is already frozen, as that would just make the ice cream salty, not extra creamy.

Once you consume that ice cream, the salt enters your body, and it can leave you feeling parched and boost a desire to drink water.

It’s a pretty simple equation: the more sodium you consume, the thirstier you will feel because your body needs to balance out the sodium with water in order to maintain a healthy balance in your blood.

When eating foods with sodium, your body will hold onto water and make you thirsty.

According to Healthline, people who eat foods high in sodium experience more thirst as compared to those who eat less salty foods.

3. Low-Quality Ingredients

Low-quality ingredients are one of the top reasons why you crave water after eating ice cream.

Those ingredients could be:

  • too many fats to add creaminess while preserved at a very low temperature (that increases the storage time)
  • a lot of sugar and salt to improve the flavor and taste of cheap ingredients.

If there is a specific type of ice cream that makes you thirsty, be assured that you didn’t have a good quality ice cream.

4. Your Body is asking for Neutralization

The temperature of foods and drinks you consume has a lot to do with thirst.

Ice cream is a consumable that is typically eaten cold and frozen. While in order for the body to digest food easily, it must be at a certain temperature, neither too hot nor very cold.

Cold foods like ice cream, when consumed, will cause the body to use up extra energy warming them up to body temperature in an attempt to digest the food properly.

This can result in less energy being available for other tasks and in order to speed up the process, the body uses water to balance the food and drink temperature.

This could be one of the reasons why you feel thirsty after eating ice cream.

The same thing happens when you eat a pizza, the only difference there is that pizza is warm and your body uses water to cool things down.

Check out the details of eating pizza making people thirsty here.

5. High Dairy Content

Adding dairy ingredients to certain kinds of ice cream may be one way to make it more appealing to consumers – particularly those who don’t typically enjoy the frozen treat.

But that high-dairy ice cream can make you feel thirsty and bloated afterward.

You will naturally urge to drink more water after consuming a high-dairy ice cream.

6. Your Ice Cream is more of a Dessert

Milk, cream, eggs, fruits, and a higher amount of sugar make ice cream more of a dessert. Take the example of Sundae, an ice cream dessert of American origin.

It typically consists of one or more scoops of ice cream with a topping of sauce or syrup and in some cases other toppings like sprinkles, whipped cream, marshmallows, peanuts, maraschino cherries, or other fruits.

The more you add things to ice cream the heavier it gets in calories, and the more it produces heat when entering your body.

Thirst in that case is a natural reaction of the body, asking for water assistance to digest the food and make the whole process of body neutralization quicker.

Solutions to Remove Thirst after Eating Ice Cream:

1. Keep a water bottle alongside:

When you eat ice cream, your body will try to warm itself up to the ideal temperature. This means that your body will have to use more energy in order to get warm.

And if there is no water, this can lead to dehydration, which in turn can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and headaches.

If you keep a water bottle next to you while eating ice cream, it will help prevent the aforementioned effects from happening.

2. Drink Milk After Eating Ice Cream:

Drinking milk after eating ice cream will help you absorb calcium better. Milk helps in the digestion process, and it removes thirst just like water will do.

3. Eat Ice Cream in Chunks:

If you want to avoid feeling thirsty after eating ice cream, simply spread out your servings throughout the day.

The next time you are craving a scoop of something cool and creamy, consider having a small serving at two different times like one in the morning and another in the afternoon.

You will feel much better afterward and won’t be left with that uncomfortable sensation of thirst.

4. Eat Sugar-free and Low Sodium Ice Cream:

You can opt for a sugar-free and low sodium ice cream in order to get rid of thirst after eating ice cream. But then your ice cream won’t taste that good so this solution is just an extra option.


In a nutshell, ice cream makes you thirsty because of the following 6 reasons:

  1. Sweet content in ice cream
  2. Sodium in ice cream
  3. Low-quality ingredients
  4. Your body trying to neutralize everything
  5. High dairy content
  6. Heavy ice cream that is more of a dessert

By drinking water or milk, or eating ice cream in less proportion, you can get rid of thirst after eating ice cream!

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Also Read:

Causes and Solution to Feeling Thirsty after Brushing the Teeth.