It’s official. I’ve got a phagia!

Oh, this is so exciting. I’ve officially got a peculiar affliction! It must be true, it says so in a press release (for iron supplements) that I got this week.

Actually, this is something I’ve been meaning to blog about for a while, but now I know there’s a proper word for it and everything, I mustn’t delay.

Pagophagia. Doesn’t it sound cool? Actually, it’s really cool. Sub-zero, in fact.

Pagophagia is a specific form of the disorder (great) “pica” (which involves craving or obsessively eating things which aren’t technically food. You know, like soil, or coal, or licking a shovel or something).

I don’t do any of that. I am obsessed with freezing my drinks, adding ice to drinks, drinking icy things. I stand in front of the freezer, eating ice out of the bag.

That’s pagophagia. It’s a real thing – look, there are 32 articles in PubMed on it.

Does anyone else crave ice? Please, let me know, so I don’t feel like such a freak.

Wiki tells me that “Pagophagia is a form of the disorder pica involving the compulsive consumption of ice or iced drinks.” OK.

And goes on to tell me that “It has been associated with iron deficiency anemia, and shown to respond to iron supplementation… leading some investigators to postulate that some forms of pica may be the result of nutritional deficiency.”

Hm. I dunno, can I really be iron deficient? I eat red meat, probably more often than most people. At least 5 times a week, if not daily. I eat lots of greens, including leafy greens. I don’t boil all hell out of my food. I take a greens powder (Lean Greens – if you’re interested).

I’m not too worried about my pagophagia. In fact, here are my top tips for fellow pagophagists! (I have actaully been telling people in the gym about #1 and now I feel a bit bad for spreading disordered drinking around South East Kent).


– Half-fill water bottles with water, BCAAs, intraworkout or just squash if that’s your thing. Freeze them, ideally over night. Before you head to the gym, fill the bottle up with water. Voila! You have a gorgeously icy drink for your training session. And – added bonus – you can use the solid ice bit at the bottom of the bottle as an on-the-go ice pack. Ideal for leg day.

– You can also use your half-frozen water bottles to help keep your food cold in your cool box

– Know your ice suppliers. For example, Londis only sells bags of massive ice cubes. The holy grail is that “ice crush” stuff and I’ve only ever found it in Tesco and Sainsbury. Tesco ran out of it completely for about 6 weeks last Summer. Let me tell you, that was a bad time.

Pagophagists unite! Do you love all things icy, too, even when you’re actually feeling quite cold? Is it really down to anemia and if so what should I do about it?

It’s official. I’ve got a phagia! is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

One Response to It’s official. I’ve got a phagia!

  1. Lucy says:

    The word phagia is cool! I thought that was kinda scary disease but as I continue to read your article, I just couldn’t help myself to laugh and feel relieved. I never know craving something like ice is called phagia and glad I read your post. Since I am also an ice addict, so I got phagia too! Thanks for sharing Nicola!


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