Sweating is a perfectly normal body function that happens to all of us. Eating sour candy is a perfectly normal activity that many of us relish partaking in. But is it normal to sweat after you’ve eaten sour candy?
Perhaps this is something that keeps happening to you every time you sit down to tuck into your favorite sour candy, whatever that might be.
Now you’re worried.
Is there something wrong with me?
Will I have to stop eating my favorite sour candy?
Well, here is everything you are going to want to know and consider.
Why Does Sour Candy Make You Sweat?
Sour candy may make you sweat because of three potential causes. The first is that you may have something called Gustatory Sweating. The second is that you may have what’s called Frey/Auriculotemporal Syndrome. The third is that it’s simply an allergic reaction you are facing.
Minutes after eating sour candy, you might experience sweating on your face and various parts of your body.
Now, if you’re eating sour candy in a sauna, then there might be your answer.
But if not, there are 4 likely causes for your post-sour candy sweating. Let’s go through each cause individually. Starting with…
This is a type of sweating that can occur when you ingest certain foods. Sweating will specifically occur on your forehead, scalp, neck, and face.
Gustatory Sweating is perfectly normal. A lot of us experience it. However, it is rarer to occur after eating sour candy compared to spicy food.
Certain ingredients will interact with your autonomic nervous system to bring Gustatory Sweating.
When it comes to sour candy, this ingredient is called glycyrrhizic acid.
When you ingest sour candy, glycyrrhizic acid will trigger hypertension and higher blood pressure in your body, effects that will contribute to the sweating.
The most common example of Gustatory Sweating occurring is after you’ve eaten some spicy food. I’m sure some of you know what I’m talking about now!
But Gustatory Sweating can also be caused by Frey Syndrome, which we will discuss soon.
Frey Syndrome/Auriculotemporal Syndrome
If it’s not Gustatory Sweating that is causing you to sweat after eating sour candy, then it could be Frey Syndrome/Auriculotemporal Syndrome.
I will refer to it as Frey Syndrome from now on.
Frey Syndrome can be caused by some sort of damage to a nerve that leads to the salivary gland in your cheek, known as the parotid gland.
Such damage can occur if you have had surgery in an area near the parotid gland.
Stop! Where on earth are these glands? Well, you can find them below your ears!
Scientists aren’t too convinced with how Frey Syndrome works.
What they do believe is that it is caused by damage to both the parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves located near the parotid glands.
These nerves are part of the autonomic nervous system. Remember when we talked about this system with Gustatory Sweating? Yeah, it’s the same one.
The autonomic nervous system monitors the body’s involuntary functions.
By this, I mean the functions that we don’t consciously carry out ourselves.
Our body just does them automatically.
One of these functions is to regulate the parotid gland. If you have Frey Syndrome, the belief is that the parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves are cut, particularly by the auriculotemporal nerve.
The Auriculotemporal nerve is used to supply sweat glands, salivary glands, and blood vessels with the fluids that they need.
Now, the truth is that damaged nerves will heal themselves. But if you have Frey Syndrome, then your nerves may heal themselves abnormally so that they connect with sweat glands.
So, instead of the nerves telling your parotid glands to stimulate saliva flow, they now stimulate the flow of sweat in the sweat glands and also widen your blood vessels after you eat strong-tasting foods, like sour candy.
The result is that you will sweat and experience your face reddening.
A wild theory. But that’s all it is still. Just a theory
There is so much more we can say about Frey Syndrome. But I think it might be time to brighten things up a bit now…
…By talking about an allergic reaction. Woohoo! No issues here. You may just be allergic to sour candy.
If you are allergic to sour candy, then you will probably be able to tell by examining your symptoms.
Because many of the symptoms associated with an allergic reaction are not common with the various conditions discussed above.
These symptoms include difficulty breathing, upset stomach, itching, and swelling.
If you do have an allergic reaction to sour candy, good news! You don’t have Frey Syndrome.
Bad news! You are allergic to sour candy. So get that sorted.
Do All Sour Foods Make You Sweat?
Whether a food will make you sweat will depend on the underlying cause of sweating. But it is likely that whatever the cause is, all sour foods will make you sweat just to varying degrees.
Of course, it will depend on what your situation is.
If it’s an allergic reaction to sour candy, then you might get away with eating sour citrus fruit.
But if your allergy is specifically connected to an ingredient like citric acid, then any sour foods, like citrus fruits and candy that both contain this, will make you swear.
If you have Frey Syndrome, then yes, any intensely flavored foods, including sour ones, will make you sweat.
But in the case of Gustatory Sweating, some sour foods might not cause you to sweat.
With Gustatory Sweating, it is quite often to do with the intensity of the flavor.
So sour foods that are less intense than others may not cause you to sweat via Gustatory Sweating.
What sour foods you react to with Gustatory Sweating will all depend on how sensitive your body is too intense flavors.
Fundamentally, whatever situation you might be in, the chances are that all sour foods will make you sweat to some extent.
It might be a thin layer on your brow, or it might be profuse sweating that trickles down your temples!
Sour Candies That Cause The Most Sweating
Sour candies that are very sour will cause more sweating than those that are less sour. The sourness of a candy is often determined by the candy’s pH level.
Sour candies contain edible acids, which are used to produce the sour taste.
Two of the commonly used acids by sour candy makers are citric acid and malic acid.
Without acids like these, the sour candy wouldn’t taste sour.
So any issue you have with sweating after eating candy will have your condition at one end of the line and then these acids at the other end of the line.
They are, in other words, the root cause.
Now, bear with me here. pH level is the measure of acidity. The lower the pH level score, the more acidic something is.
Water, for example, has a pH level of 7.0, whereas battery acid has a pH level of 1.0.
And FYI, a lot of the sour candies you will find on the store shelves contain pH levels closer to battery acid score than that of water.
So the lower a candy’s pH level, the more acidic it will be and thus the sourer it will be.
Therefore, we do know that these are the candies likely to cause more sweating.
Here are some pH level scores for some of the most popular sour candies out there on the market:
Candy pH Level
- Warheads Sour Spray 1.6
- Sour Skittles 2.2
- X-treme Airheads 3.0
Sour Candies That Will Cause The Least Sweating
Sour candies that are less sour will cause less sweating than those that are sourer. The sourness of a candy is often determined by the candy’s pH level.
Just refer to my theory above.
The higher a candy’s pH level than the less sour it will be. This should mean it will cause you less sweating than those with a lower pH level
So, if you look at the examples I have in the last chapter, you can clearly see that
if you eat some X-treme Airheads, it will probably make you sweat much less than Warheads Sour Spray!
How To Enjoy Sour Candy Without Sweating?
You can enjoy sour candy by eating less sour candies and also by eating with a certain strategy.
It will depend on your condition. You may want to consult your doctor, depending on your situation.
But let’s take Gustatory Sweating as a case study here when discussing the two methods you can pursue when looking to enjoy sour candy without sweating.
Eat Less Sour Candies
If sour candies cause you to sweat through Gustatory Sweating, then it is wise to eat sour candies that are less sour.
This would mean choosing candies with higher pH levels. Good luck!
Again, if sour candies cause you to sweat through Gustatory Sweating, then you can implement a certain strategy to ensure you still enjoy the sour candy without sweating.
This may take some practice, but it has been reported to work.
Ok. You’re about to eat a piece of sour candy. But wait. Don’t do that yet. You’ll just start sweating again.
Instead, eat something salty first before you eat the sour candy.
The two flavors of salt and sour will counteract each other, meaning that your reaction to and potential Gustatory Sweating will be substantially less.
You could even numb your tongue by holding an ice cube on it!
So, there are several reasons why you might be sweating after eating sour candy.
None of them are pretty.
But if you are concerned, I would recommend you consult a healthcare professional.
All the best, and I hope you have many more days of sour candy eating to come!
My other sour candy guides you may want to read:
- Why Do I Crave Sour Candy?
- Why Does My Tongue Burn After Eating Sour Candy?
- How to Heal Your Tongue After Eating Sour Candy
- Candy Leaves A Sour Aftertaste• This May Surprise You! •
Hello, I’m Matthew, a candy expert and enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the candy industry. My passion for candy started at a very young age. Since then, I have worked in numerous, large candy stores, and have been fortunate enough to try out hundreds of brands of candies, different types and flavors. In addition to my work, I enjoy sharing my extensive knowledge with others, and decided to create Sugar Stand in order to do so. My mission is to make the world a sweeter place, one candy at a time.