Food provides the body with energy. But often after a meal, our eyelids become heavy and we are drawn to take a little nap. If food is meant to energize, how can it make us sleepy? This type of fatigue after eating is often referred to as food coma or postprandial sleepiness.
Foods that can cause food coma
Sleepiness after eating is associated with tryptophan, an amino acid found in foods such as poultry, cheese, milk, and tuna. But, contrary to popular belief, tryptophan is not actually the main cause of food coma. It leads to the production of serotonin and melatonin, which can contribute to good sleep, but does not lead to the so-called postprandial sleepiness. There is another major culprit in food coma: simple carbohydrates. While carbohydrates provide the body with energy, they also cause blood sugar levels to rise and then fall, which can lead to feelings of fatigue.
Fatty takeaway food is certainly delicious, but this is one example of a carbohydrate-rich food that can lead to a food coma. If your food is low in protein, you will need a large portion to feel full. According to a scientific study of postprandial fatigue, eating high-calorie foods can lead to feeling tired after a meal. You can sometimes eat fast food, but be sure to combine it with protein foods and vegetables.
Pasta is high in carbohydrates but lacks the protein, fiber, and unsaturated fats that are essential for feeling full and balancing blood sugar levels. For cooking, it is better to use pasta made from whole grain flour, which contains fiber.
The blood sugar level should be within the normal range. If it’s too high or too low, it can make you feel tired and sleepy after eating. One type of food that is sure to raise the performance to a high level is sweet pastries, such as donuts, buns, cakes, muffins.
Whether or not pizza puts you into a food coma depends on what ingredients it’s made from. If you eat three slices of greasy pizza with sausage and cheese, be prepared for the fact that fatigue will soon set in. But if its main components are low-calorie vegetables that contain fiber, food coma becomes less likely.
Weekends are for relaxation, and often for breakfast on Saturday or Sunday we eat pancakes, pancakes, pancakes with honey or jam. It’s a double whammy of carbs and sugar that will make you sleepy. For a healthy breakfast, make oatmeal protein pancakes with Greek yogurt and fruit.
Eating potatoes mashed, fried, or baked is another example of a carbohydrate-rich food that can lead to a food coma. To stay awake after eating a potato dish, combine it with foods rich in fiber and protein.
Sleep is more likely after a large, heavy meal, especially if that meal was high in protein or salt. The larger the serving, the longer it takes the digestive system to absorb all the nutrients. Blood sugar levels rise, which can soon lead to a drop in energy levels. The more you eat at a time, the more insulin is released, which scientists say can make you feel sleepy. This is because insulin suppresses the production of the neurotransmitter orexin, which helps keep you alert.
Activity after eating
To avoid food coma even after a large meal, improve circulation and stimulate muscles with a short walk or exercise. Physical activity will invigorate your body, banish symptoms of fatigue, aid digestion, and normalize blood sugar levels.