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What’s Causing Thanksgiving “Food Comas”


A recent article from the Kentucky Post examined the science behind the “food coma” after Thanksgiving Dinner.

Many people attribute it to the tryptophan found in turkey. This essential amino acid cannot be made by the human body on its own, meaning you can only get it from certain foods.

Tryptophan helps in forming serotonin, involved in sleep regulation, appetite control and mood. The article suggests that you would have to eat tryptophan alone on an empty stomach in order for it to make you feel sleepy. Foods like cheese and chicken actually have a higher level of tryptophan in them than turkey.

What’s really making us sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner? Overeating, drinking alcohol and consuming a high-fat meal which takes the body more time and energy to digest are likely the causes of the Thanksgiving “food coma.”


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