The main reason for that sweet taste in your mouth is probably Diabetes. It increases the level of blood sugar, causing that taste. There are, of course, quite a few more possible reasons that can give you a sweet aftertaste, but the majority of them don’t relate to workouts. It could simply be the aftertaste of your pre-workout protein shake. As long as the taste does not offer frequently and consistently, you have nothing to worry about.
If you’ve been hitting the gym once again, you may have noticed a sweet taste in your mouth. This can feel very strange, especially since you probably didn’t eat anything before or during your workout.
And even if you did, it probably wasn’t something sweet. You finished your workout and can’t get rid of that lingering sweetness. So what could make you feel like you just ate something sweet?
Could it be something that you ate? Or does it mean that you did something wrong in your workout? or maybe even something right? Could it be pointing to a bigger problem with your body? Or perhaps it’s just some aftertaste from your pre-workout drink?
Table of Contents
9 possible culprits for getting a sweet taste in your mouth
There are quite a few reasons you could be getting sweet tastes in your mouth at random times. But these next few points should help you narrow down the possible causes and even help with a diagnosis.
The most common culprit for that sweet aftertaste. Diabetes directly impacts the production of insulin in your body, which in turn affects your body’s ability to control blood sugar.
This leads to a situation where your blood can have too much sugar, translating to a sweet taste in your mouth.
But Diabetes is also accompanied by other nasty symptoms like blurred vision, inability to taste sweetness (ironic, I know), excessive thirst, urination, and fatigue.
2. Diabetic Ketoacidosis
You might have guessed from the name, but this is a complication of Diabetes. Your body stops using sugar as fuel and burns fat as an alternative source of energy. An acid named
Ketones build up in your body, causing a sweet taste and smell in your mouth.
The symptoms for this too, are pretty similar to Diabetes, so it should help you narrow down if it’s one of the two.
3. A low carb diet
If you’ve tried changing up your diet and reducing the intake of carbohydrates to lose some weight, that may be the cause for the sweet taste.
Carbs are a common source of fuel for your body, and not having them makes your body resort to burning fat as a fuel.
This leads us back to the process of ketosis and the sweet taste.
If you’ve been doing this, you should stop and get some guidance from a healthcare professional regarding your diet.
You’d be surprised that an infection could leave a sweet taste in your mouth, but it can.
Not all infections can cause a sweet taste in your mouth, but certain bacterial infections can mess with your airways, causing your brain to misinterpret your taste senses.
Some infections (even the cold) can make your saliva have more glucose. Regardless, the sweet taste will disappear with the infection when treated.
5. Neurological medical conditions
While unlikely, nerve damage can also cause a sweet taste in your mouth. This taste is, however, more frequent and lasts more consistently.
You can rule this cause out unless you’ve recently had a stroke or seizure or if the sweet taste occurs rarely.
If, however, you suspect it could have some neurological connection, it would be best to get checked out as soon as possible.
6. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
AKA GERD, this condition can cause digestive acid to rise back up your windpipe to your mouth. This can have a sweet taste or even a metallic taste at times.
Switching to a healthier diet can reduce these symptoms.
Growing a baby in your body can also affect your hormone levels and create that sweet aftertaste in your mouth.
The taste can be metallic or sweet.
If you’re not a woman though, you can probably rule this one out.
If you’ve been taking some particularly strong mediation, it could cause a sweet taste in your mouth.
Chemotherapy, too, can affect your sense of taste. This too can be ruled out pretty quickly by examining your daily intake of food and medicine.
9. Lung cancer
Probably the most uncommon and the worst of the lot. It’s pretty rare, but a sweet aftertaste can be a result of fluctuating hormone levels.
This would also affect your sense of taste. Again, a visit to the doctor should help identify and confirm a diagnosis.
What if the sweet taste only comes after a workout?
Now that we’ve examined the possible causes, it’s time to narrow down the causes to those related to your workouts.
Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that your workout had something to do with the sweet taste you experience.
It could be that a pre-workout or a protein shake that you drank before the workout resurfaced to give you an aftertaste.
A more likely cause could be the burning of fat for fuel which could also be caused by workouts, but more impacted by what you’re eating or not eating in this case.
How can I find out the exact cause?
Despite going through the above symptoms and causes, if you’re still unable to figure out what could be wrong, there are some exams or tests that your doctor might ask you to get done.
These tests will help you reach a clear and precise diagnosis.
- Blood Tests – These tests can help identify any bacterial or viral infections. It also catches changes in your hormone levels and blood sugar, eliminating most of the earlier discussed causes.
- Brain Scans – To check for nerve damage.
- CT Scans and MRI – to check for cancer, mutations, and growths
- Endoscopy – To check for digestive issues such as GERD
As you probably noticed, these tests cover the complete list of possible causes we identified above.
The treatment, of course, will vary as we have a wide range of possible causes.
When should I see a doctor?
The occasional sweet taste in your mouth is nothing to worry about, especially if you’ve been experimenting with your diet and food intake.
However, if you notice this sweet taste or even a metallic taste on a more regular basis for longer intervals, it would be time to visit a doctor and get diagnosed.
Based on the symptoms you have noted, you might be able to decide whether you should see an ear, nose, and throat doctor, an endocrinologist, or a neurologist.
Your family doctor should be able to recommend a specialist based on your symptoms.
While many possible reasons could lead to you experiencing a sweet taste in your mouth, most of them are easily excluded by taking a closer look at your symptoms.
Make sure you get yourself checked out if the taste persists. Your workouts can continue as usual as long as you keep eating healthy and keep an eye on additional symptoms.
On another note, we also have a topic on tart taste in your mouth, which could be closer related to acid reflux.