Why Women Get Colder Than Men

Have you ever wondered why men are less prone to being chilly? Did you know that there are scientific studies that talk about this? In this article, we discuss why women are often colder than men.
Why Women Get Colder Than Men
Diego Pereira

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Diego Pereira.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

It has always been believed that women get colder than men.

But is this true?

In view of that question, researchers decided to investigate.

Although there’s newfound evidence, not all cases are the same. However, it’s been shown that most women get colder than men.

According to BBC sources, a Dutch study was able to demonstrate the reasons why women are less likely to tolerate low temperatures.

It specifically states that women feel more comfortable with temperatures up to 3 degrees warmer than men do.

Influential factors

  1. Metabolism
    Women get Colder Than Men

Metabolism produces and increases energy, including heat.

When you’re resting, your metabolic rate is minimal. This means that energy expenditure (per unit time) is minimal when you’re not doing any activity. On average, the metabolic rate of women is lower than that of men.

According to El Nacional, a professor at Warwick Medical School Paul Thornalley explained that both the metabolic rate and energy production varies between men and women.

Thornalley says women are comfortable with different temperatures than men. This is because females have less muscle mass.
We recommend that you read: Why do You Have Cold Hands and Feet All Year Long?

  1. General build
    woman drinking a cup of tea to warm up

In most cases, women have smaller bodies than men and also have less muscle mass. This makes women more sensitive to the cold.

Body temperature can be the same in both sexes, but body size influences the body’s response to temperature changes.

Men typically are larger both in height and weight. Therefore, heat can spread faster in males due to their size.

They regulate their temperature faster because of this, while it takes longer in women.

The more muscle mass, the more heat. This is why women feel colder than men. In the summer, men are more sensitive to the heat.

Interestingly, women feel colder than men because, when the temperature is low, the body heat concentrates in the central organs, so blood doesn’t flow to the extremities.

  1. Menstrual cycle
    woman on her period on a bed

During the menstrual cycle, the woman’s body temperature changes. This happens because her hormone levels rise and fall.

The days before her period, her iron levels decline and, consequently, so do her red blood cells. This is why her body temperature lowers.

Also, iron levels are an influential factor since this mineral allows the body to work as it should.

How to avoid feeling colder

  • Physical activity (muscle movement). We know that heat is produced when the metabolic rate increases as a result of keeping the body active. It’s therefore advisable to exercise or do another physical activity.
  • Digestion. It’s recommended to eat to not feel as cold. This is because the body uses energy and generates heat to digest food. Food with more calories provides heat much faster than other food.

See also: Cold Hands: Some Possible Causes that You Should Know

Recommendations to avoid feeling colder

couple warming up in front of a fireplace

To avoid feeling colder than others in social gatherings of any kind, it’s best to take certain measures so the temperatures don’t bother you.

  • Layer up (to keep your internal temperature).
  • Drink plenty of fluids. You can drink tea, but it’s also important to drink water at room temperature.
  • Eat. It’s advisable to eat several meals a day to keep the body producing energy. You should include carbohydrates in every meal.
  • Exercise regularly. Play sports or walk at least 3 times a week to increase your muscle mass.
  • Avoid staying in one position for too long.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Martinez-Tellez, B., Ortiz-Alvarez, L., Sanchez-Delgado, G., Xu, H., Acosta, F. M., Merchan-Ramirez, E., … Ruiz, J. R. (2018). Skin temperature response to a liquid meal intake is different in men than in women. Clinical Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2018.05.026

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.