One of the common misconceptions out there is that eating Thanksgiving dinner will inevitably make you sleepy and lethargic. While it is the case that the majority of people feel that way after Thanksgiving dinner, it doesn't have to be that way.
The post-Thanksgiving Dinner blues have been attributed to many causes. Many people think that eating a lot of Turkey is the cause of the lethargy they feel 1-2 hours after eating Thanksgiving dinner. Tryptophan, which is an amino acid present in turkey meat, was thought to be the culprit.
However, there is evidence that Tryptophan may not have a significant effect on the lethargy we feel after Thankgiving dinner. This is because many meats such as pork have just as much or more Tryptophan than turkey yet they are not associated with the same sleepiness.
There is more evidence that a few other variables may be involved.
One of most important variables is the volume of food that is eaten. Overeating is very common during the Thanksgiving meal and a full stomach can induce feelings of satiety and lethargy as resources are diverted to digestion.
It is also very common during Thanksgiving to consume a large amount of carbohydrates. This comes in forms of potatoes, bread, and deserts. Eating a high carbohydrate load triggers insulin release and can sometimes lead to transient hypoglycemia after the meal. This is often associated with fatigue and lethargy as the sugar and insulin level equilibrate.
So how do you avoid the Thanksgiving blues?
Here are a few tips:
Feel free to pass on any other tips that you might have in the comments section below and have a happy and joyous Thanksgiving!
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