We’ve all experienced it; the food coma. Some call it the food baby, but we all mean the same thing. Too much food in our systems (usually on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or heck even New Years!). None of us particularly care for the feeling, and yet we can’t stop overeating, the food is just too dang good! Well here are some facts that you probably didn’t know about the all-too-familiar food coma as well as some easy ways to recover!
Consuming large quantities of fats and carbohydrates (rolls, stuffing, cookies, etc.) makes your insulin levels spike. Insulin uses glucose after eating a meal. The insulin then causes fatigue and sends the amino acid tryptophan to your brain. The amino acid is then converted to a neurotransmitter called serotonin which is associated with drowsiness. While your body digests your food, your stomach releases something called gastrin which regulates the expulsion of gastric acid. The feeling of sleepiness is caused when more blood is used than usual to digest your food. This naturally leaves you with less blood for other functions. Therefore, the more you eat, the more tired you will feel afterwards. When you eat too much it is better for you to keep moving because then you are less likely to feel bloated.
Typically, when you eat a meal your body sends two amino acids to your brain: (tryptophan or TRP) and large neutral amino acids (LNAA). But when we over-eat the insulin secretion mimics the movement of LNAA to the skeletal muscles instead. So the only amino acid making it to your brain is TRP, and too much of it floods your brain. The TRP is converted into serotonin and later melatonin which makes you sleepy.
- Eat breakfast
- Drink eight glasses of water a day
- Eat every three to four hours
- Add a fruit or vegetable to every meal
- Eat smaller amounts
- Do not cut out carbohydrates