Why Do Kebabs Make You Thirsty? A Few Common Solutions

Kebabs are a delicious food, and one that I enjoy but only in moderation. However, I’m sure many of you have noticed that despite juicy meat and descent dressing, this hugely popular fast food favorite can leave us thirsty or even parched long after any accompanying drink has been fully downed. This can seem a bit unusual at first, but honestly there’s usually a good reason.

There are multiple reasons that a kebab can make you thirsty after eating. High salt in kebab sausage or sauces, the heat of the food, sugar content, and fatty meat can all contribute to making a kebab eater thirsty. This is even before considerations such as side dishes, what was eaten or drank earlier, or if the kebab was a post-workout treat.

Usually a post-kebab thirst can be traced back to factors such as high sodium content in seasonings and sauces, as well as side dishes that accompany the meal. In this article, we’ll dive into the reasons behind that post-kebab thirst and offer insights on how to savor this tasty treat without the unwanted dry mouth.

shish kebab skewers
One of the healthier kebabs out there – if they’re light on the spice they might be light on the thirst, too.

Kebab Ingredients and Thirst

Now, let’s break down the various kebab ingredients and why they might be partially or fully responsible for your sudden thirst.

  • Salt Content: Dry, sodium-rich kebab meat makes our bodies work harder to process it, leading to increased fluid intake.
  • Sugar Content: Sugars in some kebab sauces or marinades can temporarily unbalance our body’s fluids, causing thirst.
  • High Fat Content: Kebabs with fatty meats like lamb or beef may contribute to dehydration and thirst.
  • Spicy Foods: Spicy kebabs can make us feel hot, sweat, and lose fluids, increasing our need for water.

Salt Content in Kebabs Can Cause Thirst

First, let’s talk sodium. Present in many kebab ingredients, sodium can make us thirsty as our bodies strive to balance the excess salt. Just like when you munch on salty snacks, high-sodium foods can trigger that familiar parched feeling.

Kebab meat tends to be on the salty side. This is especially true with the Doner Kebab which uses a sliced sausage mix. Sauces often have some sodium and sugar in them while even those grilled skewer kebabs are often seasoned with salt or garlic salt.

Sugar Content in Kebabs Can Cause Thirst

In theory kebabs should not have sugar in them and depending on the situation, maybe they don’t. However, if you’re eating a kebab that uses processed sausage meat, it’s very possible depending where you get it that there is some kind of sugar or sweetener, and that can kick on the addictive parts of the brain to make you crave more and be thirsty.

Keep in mind that sugar can come from a soda or sugar-laden fruit juice. A lot of sweetness is the potential cause, it can come from any source.

The High Fat Content of Kebabs Can Cause Thirst

Kebabs are not a low fat food in almost any form. Maybe with pure grilled chicken skewers but that would be it. Beef can be high fat, as is lamb, while leaner meats like fish or chicken might be cooked in butter or oil which can cause hidden added fat to the kebab which will also be likely to make you thirstier.

High fat is pretty common across most types of kebabs so this is also one of the likely culprits if you find yourself consistently thirsty after this meal. Especially when combined with salt or sugar.

Spices Used in the Kebab Can Cause Thirst

Many common kebabs aren’t spicy, but depending on regional and personal preferences you may find some spice ranging from the mildest of black or lemon pepper up to much more intense spices.

Doesn’t take a genius to know that the spicier the kebabs are, the thirstier you’re likely to get. So depending on the spice mix, you might be in for a bit of surprise once you bite in. In which case, time for some milk or water!

Are Side Dishes & Beverages The Real Culprit?

Did your kebabs come with a soda? Beer? French fries? Depending on what you get with your kebabs it’s quite possible that your side dish or the beverage that comes with the meal could be what’s causing you to feel unusually thirsty.

The same warnings about sugar, salt, fat, or anything else that can trigger extreme thirst can also be caused by side dishes or beverages that come with your main kebab part of the meal.

How to Prevent Thirst from Kebabs

Once you know why kebabs are making you thirsty, it becomes much easier to figure out how to avoid any problems and to quench your thirst.

about side dishes and beverages? Often, kebabs come with salty fries, bread, or even alcohol. These can heighten the thirst, thanks to their dehydrating effects. Combine kebabs, sides, and drinks, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a seriously thirsty experience.

To prevent thirst when eating kebabs, consider:

  • Healthier Options: Opt for kebabs with less salt and leaner meats, like chicken or fish, and add more veggies.
  • Sip Water Frequently: Stay hydrated by sipping water throughout your meal.
  • Avoid Sugary Drinks: Skip sugar-laden beverages and opt for water or unsweetened tea instead.

By following these tips and understanding kebab ingredients, you can enjoy this delicious dish without the post-meal thirst, or at least have the right tools on hand to take care of it, so enjoy!

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