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New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center

Why Do I Get Heart Palpitations After Eating?

Heart palpitations that occur after eating can be uncomfortable and cause unpleasant sensations. Heart palpitations are mostly harmless, but they can be dangerous if they result from underlying heart-related issues and must be carefully examined. If you are concerned about your symptoms and want a professional opinion, consult a heart doctor. Visit Dr. Steven Reisman at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center to have your condition carefully diagnosed and managed. The expert physician will pinpoint the cause of distress quickly and efficiently and help you enjoy a better quality of life with the best treatment plans.

Heart Palpitations After Eating

The Ambulatory (Holter) Electrocardiographic (ECG) Monitoring TestHeart palpitations occur when the heart starts to beat faster. There is a fluttering-like feeling in the chest, neck, or throat. It can make people feel short of breath and anxious that is often frightening.

When Anxiety and Heart Palpitations Coincide?

Many people experience heart palpitations after eating. It can be due to anything from something you are eating to the way you are eating it. In some cases, it can be alarming as these palpitations occur without warning and disrupt your life routine.

You may feel your heart is beating too fast or irregularly when you experience palpitations. Symptoms differ for everyone, but the most common ones include:

  • A feeling that your heart is skipping a beat
  • Pounding or throbbing sensation
  • Fluttering sensation in the chest
  • Racing heartbeat

There are many potential causes of heart palpitations. If your palpitations continue to occur right after eating, chances are they are associated with your diet. Paying attention to what you are eating or how may help identify the possible reasons behind your complaint.

Foods That Lead to Heart Palpitations

Certain foods, beverages, and supplements are commonly associated with increased heart rate. Monitoring your intake and limiting your consumption of these items can reduce your chances of experiencing these uncomfortable and frightening sensations after meals.

Foods that are believed to cause palpitations include:

Excessive Use of Caffeine

There is no correlation between moderate intake of caffeine and heart palpitations, but research shows that excessive caffeine consumption can trigger palpitations in your heart. Caffeine is a stimulant, and it can cause the heart to race. It is a diuretic as well, and having too much of it results in dehydration that increases the heart rate.

If you consume a lot of coffee during the day, especially first thing in the morning, make sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and avoid unwanted heart racing sensations.

Increased Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption can affect your heart and cause heart palpitations, particularly in people who suffer from atrial fibrillation or cardiac arrhythmia.

Enjoying a few drinks with a meal, especially in social gatherings, is common, but most people fail to realize how much they are drinking and how it can harm their health. If you are a heavy drinker and experience palpitations, reduce your alcohol intake, and it may improve your condition.

Food High in Msg, Sugar, and Carbs

If you suffer from low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, foods that contain highly processed sugars and carbohydrates can trigger heart palpitations. These foods spike the blood sugar levels, and the wild swings in your blood sugar levels can increase the chances of irregular heartbeats.

Sometimes consuming foods with a lot of monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates, or sodium can bring them on too. It is necessary to control your carb and sugar intake if you are hypoglycemic and keep an eye on what you are eating to avoid any health issues.


Certain dietary or nutritional supplements can elevate your heart rate if they are taken before or after a meal. They include:

  • Bitter orange
  • Ginseng
  • Ephedra
  • Valerian
  • Hawthorn

Food Allergies

Sometimes food sensitivity or allergies can also cause heart palpitations. If you are allergic to a particular food, the nature and severity of the reaction will dictate the way you are affected. In some cases, these allergies can lead to an increase in heart rate.

Monitoring Your Diet

Experiencing heart palpitations after you have eaten is not a pleasant sensation. You must start paying attention to what you are eating, how you are eating, and the quantity in which you are consuming to find the culprit.

Keeping a food diary can help to identify potential items in your diet that may be triggering palpitations.

You should note down all the details in your food diary, including:

  • The specific foods and beverages you are consuming, along with their quantity
  • The time of the day when you ate these items
  • How you feel after the meal or snack
  • When you develop heart palpitations

Keeping a record of your diet can help identify a connection between specific foods and their effect on your heart rate. You must focus on how you feel after consuming foods that are commonly associated with this condition. If you notice your palpitations are triggered by consuming certain foods and beverages, consider reducing or eliminating these items to see if it is of any help and improves your health.

When to See a Doctor?

Heart palpitations are not a cause for alarm if they occur once in a while after eating when you are startled or after strenuous activity. However, you should pay attention to their frequency and the severity of the symptoms as you experience them. If they continue to occur frequently, schedule an appointment with your doctor to have your symptoms carefully investigated and addressed.

Persistent or frequently occurring heart palpitations could be a warning sign of some underlying medical condition.

Seek immediate medical attention if your palpitations are accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

If your heart palpitations persist even after dietary and lifestyle changes, visit the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center to consult Dr. Steven Reisman, a leading cardiologist, and heart specialist. Using the most updated diagnostic tools and accurate tests, the expert heart doctor will evaluate the potential causes of your heart palpitations. He will gather the data necessary to determine if your elevated heart rate is resulting from something in your diet or a pre-existing condition. He will make recommendations to alter your lifestyle and suggest treatment options to alleviate your discomfort.

Dr. Steven Reisman | Cardiologist in New York City

Dr. Steven Reisman is an internationally recognized cardiologist and heart specialist. He is a member of the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and a founding member of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

Dr. Reisman has presented original research findings for the early detection of "high risk" heart disease and severe coronary artery disease at the annual meetings of both the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Dr. Reisman was part of a group of doctors with the Food and Drug Administration who evaluated the dipyridamole thallium testing technique before the FDA approved it.

Dr. Steven Reisman's academic appointments include Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California and Assistant Professor at SUNY. Hospital appointments include the Director of Nuclear Cardiology at the Long Island College Hospital.

This page was published on Oct 25, 2021, modified on May 26, 2022 by Dr. Reisman (Cardiologist) of New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center

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