It is a very common syndrome to feel sleepy after eating. especially if we eat some really considerable amount of foods. Many people experience this, and for many it becomes a subject of curiosity. Why do we feel so sleepy after eating? Many would suppose that this condition is actually not normal. If we look at it, we can see that we should actually feel more alive, energetic and awake after having a meal as our body receives a new portion of energy and nutrients. Some funny people believe that after eating our body needs great amount of energy to digest the foods consumed, and that is why we tend to sleep after eating. Sounds excellent! Let’s examine the problem at a closer and more scientific look.
Did you notice that you feel more sleepy or less sleepy after eating certain foods? For example, most people report feeling especially sleepy after they eat sweet foods, bakery or heavy meals like read meat or poultry. However, if we eat fruit, veggies, salads, stews, seeds, fish, nuts and so on, we usually feel less sleepy or even do not feel sleepy at all.
It is quite easy to explain this phenomenon. When we eat sweet foods, our body starts very actively producing serotonin, a neurotransmitter which helps us fall asleep in a natural way, for example, every night. In addition, when we consume sweet foods or the ones rich in flour, our pancreas start producing more insulin, which is linked to increased amounts tryptophan in our blood. This element is easily converted to serotonin and causes sleepiness. The same effects (rise in tryptophan in our blood) takes place when we eat large amounts of turkey or red meat. That is why we have our best sleeps exactly after our annual Thanksgiving dinner, right?
There is another scientific theory which attempts to explain the phenomena why we usually feel so sleepy after eating meals. It is based on the idea that sleepy condition can be caused by incorrect food combining practice which we use. In particular, it is known that for digesting carbs and proteins we need different digestive enzymes: protease for proteins and lipase for carbs. Therefore, eating the foods rich in proteins and carbs in a combination causes certain conflict in digestive enzymes required for digestion, and as a result we start feeling drowsy. If you want to avoid feeling sleepy after eating and feel more energetic, learn more about correct ways to combine foods. For example, proteins should be combined with non-starch veggies, and carbs should be combined with fruits, grains, and so on.