The Munchies: Why Does Vaping Make You Hungry?…
If you’re a vaper, you might have noticed that you tend to get hungry more often than usual. This phenomenon, commonly referred to as the “munchies”, is often associated with smoking cannabis, but it turns out that vaping could also have a noticeable impact on your appetite!
So exactly why does vaping make you hungry?
When you vape, the nicotine in your e-juice may stimulate your appetite and trigger cravings for calorie-dense foods. Vaping certain e-juice flavors could also impact your digestive system and influence the reward centers in your brain, leading to food cravings. By being mindful of your eating habits and choosing the right e-juice, you can manage your cravings and avoid overeating.
Keep reading and we’ll go into more detail about exactly why vaping makes you hungry, what’s happening in your body, and most importantly how you can manage those cravings.
Why Does Vaping Make You Hungry
First things first, let’s briefly talk about what vaping is and how it works…
As I’m sure you’re already aware, vaping involves using an electronic device, often referred to as an e-cigarette or vape mod, to heat up and vaporize e-juice that typically contains nicotine, flavorings, and a mix of Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerine (VG).
When you inhale this vapor, it enters your lungs and is absorbed into your bloodstream, delivering the nicotine.
Quick note: Unlike smoking, which involves burning tobacco and inhaling the smoke, vaping produces a vapor that’s less harmful to your lungs and doesn’t contain many of the dangerous chemicals found in tobacco smoke.
Ok that’s all very well and good I hear you cry, but why does vaping make you hungry?…
The answer my hungry reader, is found when we examine the effect the nicotine present in your e-juice has on your body. First and foremost, nicotine is a stimulant that can increase your heart rate, constrict your blood vessels, and raise your blood pressure. It also activates the release of certain hormones, such as adrenaline and dopamine, which make you feel more alert and focused.
However, more importantly nicotine also has an effect on your digestive system. It can stimulate the release of insulin, which is a hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels and helps your body absorb glucose (sugar) from your bloodstream. When insulin levels rise, your body will start to feel hungry, as it senses a need for more glucose to fuel your cells.
A further factor that may contribute to increased hunger when vaping is the flavorings used in your favorite e-juice. I don’t know about you, but the majority of my e-juice flavors are sweet or dessert-like flavors, such as vanilla, chocolate, or fruit flavors. These flavors can activate the reward centers in your brain, which can lead to cravings for more sweet or fatty foods. In other words, vaping can trigger a desire for food, even if you’re not actually hungry.
It’s worth noting that not all vapers experience increased hunger, and the intensity of the cravings can vary from person to person. Some studies have found that people who smoke cigarettes are more likely to experience “the munchies” than those who only vape, which suggests that there may be other factors at play beyond nicotine and flavorings. For example, the act of smoking or vaping itself may simply be a routine or habit that triggers a desire for food.
It’s even more important to mention that nicotine could also act as an appetite suppressor! Because it stimulates the release of certain hormones, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which can reduce feelings of hunger and increase feelings of fullness, nicotine can actually reduce your appetite or hunger cravings.
Furthermore, nicotine could also increase metabolism, which can further suppress your appetite and increase the rate at which you burn calories in a resting state.
The reality is that it really does vary from person to person! When I first made the switch from smoking to vaping, I found my appetite went through the roof initially, but after a few months it balanced out and any interim weight I gained quickly fell off again.
If you’re currently a smoker looking to quit, my advice would be to try vaping for a period of 1 – 3 months and see how you get on! If you’re one of the few that find (like I did) that vaping increases your appetite, we’ve outlined 7 steps you can take below to manage your food cravings and avoid unwanted weight gain!
Why Does Vaping Make You Hungry | How To Manage The “Munchies”
So, what can you do if you find yourself experiencing increased hunger when vaping?
Here are a few tips you might find helpful:
Be mindful of what you’re vaping
If you find that certain flavors or types of e-juice are more likely to trigger cravings, try to avoid them or limit your use. Certain e-juice flavors, particularly those with sweet or dessert-like profiles, may trigger your appetite and make you more likely to snack, so consider opting for flavors that are less likely to stimulate your cravings, such as mint, menthol, or tobacco.
Drinking plenty of water can help you stay feeling full and satisfied, which can reduce your urge to snack. In addition, vaping can be dehydrating, so it’s important to drink plenty of water to replenish the fluids you may be losing.
Snack the right way
If you do feel the urge to snack, opt for healthy options like fruit, vegetables, or protein-rich snacks like nuts or jerky. Avoid processed or high-sugar snacks that can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes.
If you find that vaping is making you too hungry or causing you to overeat, try taking breaks between vaping. This can give your body time to process the nicotine and reduce the hunger-inducing effects.
Consider using lower-nicotine e-juice
If you find that nicotine is a major factor in your munchies, switching to a lower-nicotine e-juice or gradually reducing your nicotine intake may help.
Practice mindful eating
When you do eat, take your time and focus on the experience. Pay attention to the flavors, textures, and sensations of the food. This can help you feel more satisfied and reduce the urge to keep snacking.
Get your body moving
Exercise can help reduce feelings of hunger and boost your mood. Try taking a walk or doing some light stretching to help curb your cravings.
It’s also important to note that food cravings are not unique to vaping or smoking. Many other substances and activities can trigger a similar effect on your appetite, including alcohol, caffeine, stress and lack of sleep. If you’re experiencing frequent cravings or hunger, it may be worth taking a closer look at your overall health habits and lifestyle.
For example, if you’re not getting enough sleep (which interestingly can also be impacted by vaping!) – your body may produce more of the hormone ghrelin, which can increase feelings of hunger. Likewise, if you’re under a lot of stress, your body may produce more cortisol, which can also stimulate your appetite. By addressing these underlying factors, you may be able to reduce your cravings and improve your general health and well-being.
In summary, increased appetite and food cravings are a real and sometimes frustrating side effect of vaping. However, they’re not an inevitable part of the vaping experience, and there are steps you can take to manage your cravings and avoid overeating. By being mindful of what you’re vaping, practicing mindful eating and addressing any underlying health issues, you can enjoy the benefits of vaping without the unwanted hunger pangs.
Will I Gain Weight After Quitting Smoking?
Weight gain after you quit smoking is not inevitable, despite what you may have heard! However, it is a common question we get asked and a very real concern for the vast majority of smokers looking to quit.
The main factors to consider, such as nicotine withdrawal, changes in taste and smell, emotional eating, and decreased physical activity could all contribute to weight gain in the weeks and months after you quit.
However, making healthy lifestyle choices such as exercising, eating a balanced diet, and planning ahead for situations where you may be tempted to overeat can help reduce your risk of gaining weight after you quit the evil analogues!
Can Vaping Lead To Weight Gain?
Potentially yes! And that’s probably not what you want to hear, but it stands to reason that if nicotine could increase your appetite, then it’s certainly possible you may experience weight gain.
However, as we’ve outlined above – you could also find that the nicotine in your e-juice acts as an appetite suppressor!
Even if you find your appetite increases as a result of vaping, as long as you’re choosing healthy snack options and getting regular exercise, you should be able to avoid any potential weight gain.
And that’s it folks! The next time somebody asks “why does vaping make you hungry” – please feel free to share this post. Please also leave us any comments below, happy vaping!