Does turkey make you sleepy?

WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana (WANE) – A nutrition science expert from Purdue University debunks the “food coma” myth associated with eating Thanksgiving turkey.

Greg Henderson, an assistant professor at the Department of Nutrition Sciences, said there’s actually a scientific explanation for the drowsiness you might feel after a holiday meal — and that doesn’t mean you have to stop yourself from eating more turkey.

Henderson said people often think turkey contains an excessive amount of tryptophan, a chemical compound linked to sleep.

“The nutritional community doesn’t believe that tryptophan is the reason we feel sleepy after a meal,” Henderson said, adding that turkey contains about the same amount of tryptophan as chicken and pork. “Turkey would have to have a lot more tryptophan than other foods you would consume in its place… and it doesn’t.”

The real reason you might be feeling tired has to do with eating larger portions around the holidays, Henderson explained. For those privileged to have a table set with food, filling the plate with all the options at once can lead to it

Activating the sympathetic nervous system, Henderson said, can prevent drowsiness after eating.

One way to avoid a “food coma” during the holidays is through social interactions, Henderson said, like playing a game with family or discussing an exciting topic. You can also combat fatigue with physical activity, such as B. going for a walk or exposing yourself to cold temperatures.

So maybe queuing in the cold of winter would be enough to snag some Black Friday bargains. Does turkey make you sleepy?

Dais Johnston

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