Heart palpitations feel like your heart flutters, pounds or skips a beat. Certain ingredients in food, such as sugar, carbs or salt, can cause them. Supplements, medications and other factors can also play a role. Heart palpitations after eating usually aren’t harmful.
Heart palpitations feel like your heart races, pounds, flutters or skips a beat. You may notice your heart rate when you have a palpitation. Or you may feel your heart beating in your throat, neck or chest.
Heart palpitations can happen anytime, including after or while eating. Though palpitations can seem scary, they usually aren’t dangerous.
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Heart palpitations after eating are very common. They may occur if you have food allergies or sensitivities.
An increased heart rate happens to many people throughout the day. But you’re more likely to notice heart palpitations when you aren’t distracted. You might sense them when you’re sitting still, resting or lying down.
Symptoms of heart palpitations include:
Usually, heart palpitations are harmless. They can occur due to the chewing, swallowing and digestive process or because of ingredients you eat. Most palpitations don’t mean you have an underlying health problem.
Foods that may cause heart palpitations include:
Certain ingredients in food may also trigger heart palpitations:
Taking dietary supplements with meals can sometimes lead to heart palpitations. These supplements include:
Certain medications, which you might take with food, can also lead to heart palpitations. These medications include:
Other causes of heart palpitations related to eating and drinking may include:
Less commonly, heart palpitations after eating can be signs of a heart condition. If your heart often races after eating, see your healthcare provider for an exam. Seek help immediately if you have palpitations and chest pain or trouble breathing.
Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, tea and soda. Providers used to think that caffeine led to heart palpitations. But recent research suggests that, in moderation (up to three cups a day), caffeine may actually have heart benefits. If you drink more than three cups per day, you may notice palpitations.
That said, some people may be particularly sensitive to caffeine, even at low levels. Also, in rare cases, drinking large amounts of energy drinks high in caffeine may cause arrhythmias.
Your provider will listen to your heart to check for murmurs or other sounds. They will review your:
Your provider may recommend a blood test (complete blood count or CBC) to look for anemia or low potassium. They’ll also check for a thyroid problem or other health issues that could lead to heart palpitations.
Your healthcare provider may suggest other tests to check your heart health. These tests include:
Treatment for any kind of heart palpitations depends on the diagnosis. Many times, palpitations aren’t serious. They often go away on their own.
Providers may recommend that you make lifestyle changes to control your symptoms. These changes may include:
Keeping a journal of your symptoms after you eat will help you notice what might trigger your palpitations. Make sure to note:
To lower your risk of heart palpitations:
Depending on the trigger, you may be able to change your diet to avoid heart palpitations after eating. You can try:
Most people with heart palpitations after eating don’t require treatment. If palpitations happen from time to time, they aren’t usually dangerous. Many people find relief from heart palpitations after eating when they make changes to their diet or lifestyle.
If you have heart palpitations that result from a health condition, talk to your provider about a treatment plan. To relieve your symptoms, your provider will treat the condition that’s causing them.
Most of the time, heart palpitations after eating aren’t harmful. But it’s important to see your provider to be sure they aren’t signs of a serious health problem.
Get help right away if you have heart palpitations along with:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Heart palpitations after eating are usually harmless. Your provider will make sure the palpitations aren’t a symptom of a more serious condition. You may be able to avoid heart palpitations after eating by monitoring the foods that cause symptoms and changing your diet. You can also lower your risk by maintaining a healthy weight and reducing stress. Pay attention to what you’ve had to eat or drink when you notice heart palpitations, and share this information with your healthcare provider. Seek help immediately if heart palpitations occur along with chest pain, confusion or difficulty breathing.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/13/2022.
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