Why am I craving sour foods? 8 Reasons

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why am I craving sour foods

Have you been noticing that you’re craving sour foods more often than usual? If so, you’re not alone. In recent years, there’s been a surge in popularity for sour flavored foods.

From sour gummy bears to sour cream and onion chips, it seems like there’s a sour version of just about everything these days.

But why are sour foods so crave-worthy? Let’s take a closer look.

1 – You might be dehydrated

If you’re not drinking enough water, your body will begin to signal its thirst in some pretty strange ways—and one of those ways is by making you crave sour foods. That’s because when you’re even slightly dehydrated, your sense of taste becomes dulled, and sour foods are a great way to regain some of that lost flavor.

So, if you find yourself wanting to hit up the sour candy aisle at the grocery store, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water first. Chances are, all you really need is a glass or two to quench your thirst and take the edge off your cravings.

Watch out for salty cravings or if you’re craving salt. These can also be indicators that you’re dehydrated.

2 – You might be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. 

Another reason why you might be feeling a sudden urge to munch on lemons or suck on Sour Patch Kids is because you could be lacking in certain vitamins and minerals—namely, vitamin C.

Vitamin C helps keep our immune systems strong and plays a role in collagen production, so it’s an essential nutrient for overall health. But since our bodies can’t store vitamin C, we need to get it from our diets. If we don’t get enough vitamin C-rich foods like oranges, bell peppers, and kale, we might start to crave sour foods as our bodies’ way of telling us we need more of this vital nutrient.

If you are low on a vitamin, when you consume foods that contain this vitamin, those foods will sometimes taste amazing!

So see how bitter tastes after you enjoy whatever sour food you’re craving. Does it taste exceptionally well, or perhaps another reason is in play.

Read here about What Causes Vitamin Deficiency? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

3 – You might be stressed out. 

Cravings for sour foods can also be triggered by stress. When we’re stressed, our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode and release hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

These hormones can interfere with our digestion and cause symptoms like indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux—all of which can make us crave sour foods as a way to counteract the effects of these powerful hormones.

If stress is the root cause of your sour food cravings, there are a number of things you can do to help reduce your stress levels, such as exercise, relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation, and spending time with loved ones.

4 – You might be pregnant. 

For women who are pregnant, cravings for sour foods are often chalked up to pregnancy hormones. 

These hormones can cause all sorts of strange cravings and food aversions, so if you’re pregnant and suddenly find yourself wanting to eat lemons by the dozen, it’s not entirely out of the ordinary.

Of course, if you’re pregnant and having trouble keeping anything down—sour or otherwise—be sure to speak with your doctor. 

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can lead to dehydration and malnutrition, so it’s important to get help if you’re struggling with these symptoms.

5 – You might have an underlying medical condition. 

In some cases, cravings for sour foods can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. For example, if you have acid reflux, you might find that sour foods help to neutralize the stomach acid that’s causing your symptoms.

Celiac disease and other gastrointestinal disorders can also cause cravings for sour foods as the body tries to compensate for the lack of nutrients being absorbed. If you’re concerned that your cravings could be indicative of a larger health issue, be sure to speak with your doctor.

However, we want to stress that an underlying condition is not the best conclusion for sour cravings. See the other reasons on this list!

Generally speaking salt cravings or when you can’t stop craving sweet sugary snacks, these are more reliable indicators that something is amiss.

6 – Crave flavor variety

If you find that your cravings for sour foods seem to come and go, it could be because you’re simply bored with your current flavor profile.

The human tongue can taste five basic flavors: sweet, salty, bitter, umami, and sour. And while we tend to think of these flavors as separate entities, they actually work together to create the unique tastes of our favorite foods.

When we eat the same foods day in and day out, our taste buds can become desensitized to certain flavors. This is why mix-and-matching different food groups is important for a well-rounded diet—it helps keep our taste buds guessing and prevents us from getting bored with our meals.

7 – You’re actually craving sugar

There are many “sour” things that are actually filled with sugar. Take Sour Patch kids or your typical lemonade. Or even those “tart” yogurts. All of these things have A LOT of sugar in them. So, if you find yourself constantly craving these sour foods, it might not be the sour flavor that you’re actually craving, but the sugar.

Sugar is a highly addictive substance and can cause all sorts of cravings and withdrawal symptoms when we try to cut back.

Sometimes these cravings can be deceptive too. For example, you might really be having sweet cravings but it ‘sounds’ better if you say you’re craving a sour snack.

Read for more info Why Am I Craving Sweets? Top 8 Reasons Why And How To Stop.

8 – You just love sour food and taste

Some people just love the taste of sour food. And that’s perfectly OK! If you find yourself drawn to sour flavors, there’s no need to force yourself to eat something else.

Instead, try incorporating more bitter foods into your diet in a way that works for you. Add a squeeze of lemon to your water or tea, snack on some tart berries, or make a homemade dressing with vinegar and olive oil.

For more info read Why Do I Crave Lemons? 4 Explanations.

Why do I love sour food so much?

There are many different types of tastes that humans can experience: sweet, savory, salty, and sour. While some people may enjoy all of these flavors equally, others may have a preference for one or two. In fact, some people may love sour foods so much that they can’t get enough of them! But why is this?

There is likely a genetic component to why some people love sour flavors. Or if you’re a fan of traditional Chinese medicine then you may say some people simply have energetic systems that are different. Yet whatever you believe, everyone has taste buds on their tongue that are responsible for detecting different tastes.

And while we all have the same number of taste buds, some people may be more sensitive to certain tastes than others. For example, some people really crave spicy food. So if you find that you really enjoy that sour taste, it could be because your taste buds are more attuned to detecting sourness.

Whatever the reason may be, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying sour food. In fact, it can actually be good for you! Sour foods tend to be packed with vitamins and nutrients, so if you’re looking for a healthy snack, reach for something sour the next time you’re feeling peckish.

What does it mean if I crave sour things?

Most of the time, sour cravings are perfectly normal and there are a variety of reasons why you might be experiencing these cravings. From stress to pregnancy to simply enjoying the taste of sour foods, there’s no need to worry if you find yourself wanting something tart. Just listen to your body and enjoy!

However, if you find that you’re constantly having sour cravings and it’s impacting your life in a negative way, it’s important to speak with a doctor or registered dietitian. They can help you determine if there’s an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed.

Can craving for sour foods indicate that something is wrong with your health?

Craving for sour foods only rarely means that something might be wrong with your health. While this may not always be the case, it’s important to be aware of the potential implications of these cravings.

If you find yourself constantly craving sour foods, it could be a sign that your body is lacking certain nutrients. For example, some pregnant women often crave sour food because their bodies are trying to compensate for a lack of vitamin C.

Similarly, if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, you may also find yourself with sour, bitter cravings more often than usual. This is because these conditions can impact your body’s levels of serotonin, which can in turn affect your food cravings.

Use a food journal to discover why you’re craving sour foods

journal journaling

If you’re craving sour foods, it could be a sign that your body is lacking in nutrients. A food journal can help you to discover which nutrients you’re lacking, and how to address the issue. Start by tracking everything you eat for a week.

Include not only the main meals, but also snacks and drinks. Even healthy foods like bitter leafy greens, and definitely the “unhealthy” foods too like salty foods, fried foods, junk food, etc.

Next, take note of any cravings you have, and when they occur. Are you more likely to crave sour foods after a meal or during a particular time of day?

Finally, consider any other factors that might be influencing your cravings. Are you under stress? Not getting enough sleep? Exercising too much? By understanding the root cause of your cravings, you can make the necessary changes to help address them.

Learn more about our free mindful food journaling app.

Conclusion

If you find yourself inexplicably craving sour foods, there’s probably a perfectly good explanation for it. 

Whether you’re dehydrated or deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, or if you’re simply feeling stressed out, these are all common reasons why people suddenly start hankering for tart snacks.

So next time those Sour Patch Kids are calling your name, try reaching for a glass of water or a healthy snack first—you might find that’s all it takes to satisfy your cravings!

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Jared and welcome to Eating Enlightenment. I'm a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor with a Master's Degree in Counseling from Santa Clara Clara University. In my coaching I help people with BOTH nutrition and psychology.

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