It’s Thanksgiving within the U.S. The eating room desk is overflowing with all of the trimmings — mashed potatoes, candy potato casserole, stuffing (or dressing), cranberry sauce, dinner rolls and naturally, the star of the present, the glistening, golden turkey.

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You tuck right into a full plate, excited and overwhelmed by all of the fantastic meals at your fingertips. Thank goodness you wore your stretchy pants — you’re going to wish them.

Whether you clear your plate or depart a number of forkfuls of Brussels sprouts behind, it doesn’t take lengthy earlier than you begin to crash. You’re sleepy, sluggish, torpid and really feel like you’ll be able to’t eat one other chunk (however wait, there’s three sorts of pumpkin pie, a pecan pie and Grandma’s cookies). Yikes.

Many of us attribute this sloth-like feeling to turkey (and extra particularly, to tryptophan). But is that actually true? Could different habits and behaviors additionally account for why we move out on the sofa after a giant meal?

Registered dietitian Julia Zumpano, RD, LD, explains why turkey is simply a part of the recipe to feeling sleepy on Thanksgiving.

Does turkey make you sleepy?

Tryptophan is understood to trigger drowsiness — and it may be present in turkey.

A serving measurement of turkey, which is about 3 ounces, accommodates wherever between 250 milligrams to 300 milligrams of tryptophan.

So, what’s tryptophan precisely? It’s an important amino acid that’s used to make proteins. And you’ll be able to solely get tryptophan from the meals you eat.

Turkey isn’t the one meals with tryptophan. Other meals that include it embrace:

  • Milk.
  • Eggs whites.
  • Chicken.
  • Fish.
  • Canned tuna.
  • Oats.
  • Cheese.
  • Sunflower seeds.
  • Peanuts.
  • Pumpkin seeds.
  • Sesame seeds.
  • Soybeans.

A key level of clarification, although? You’d must eat so much of those meals — together with turkey — to really feel drowsy.

So, why do you are feeling sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner or one other massive meal? You want to have a look at the entire image.

“You might feel mildly tired after eating turkey,” says Zumpano. “But the tryptophan is not the only reason.”

Other explanation why chances are you’ll really feel sleepy after consuming Thanksgiving dinner

Eating turkey is only one piece of the drowsiness puzzle once you eat a giant meal like a turkey dinner. Here are another explanation why chances are you’ll really feel sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner:

You eat an excessive amount of

You most likely are likely to overeat throughout Thanksgiving dinner. And contemplate the forms of meals you’re consuming, says Zumpano.

“The meal typically contains large amounts of carbs (stuffing, potatoes, pie, desserts, rolls), which can spike your blood sugar initially,” she continues. “But then, your blood sugar levels crash or decrease, which leaves you feeling lethargic.”

Your physique will increase blood circulation to your abdomen

To deal with the massive quantity of meals in your abdomen, there’s a change in your blood circulation.

“Your bowels need more blood to digest the large meal, which may lead to less blood to your brain causing you to feel less alert,” explains Zumpano.

You might have had a number of alcoholic drinks

You don’t simply must take care of all of the scrumptious meals choices. You may really feel like having a cocktail, glass of wine or beer together with your meal.

“When you’re adding alcohol in the mix, that’s going to make you feel that more lethargic, more relaxed feeling on top of a big heavy meal,” Zumpano provides.

How to keep away from drowsiness after consuming a giant meal

What are you able to do to fight that post-meal crash? Zumpano shares a number of tips:

  • Eat smaller parts. It’s OK to take pleasure in all of your Turkey Day favorites, however consuming a smaller quantity of meals can assist you keep away from feeling drained afterward.
  • Limit alcohol. You’re in a celebratory temper — and which will imply you wish to have an alcoholic drink (or two or three) together with your family and friends. Zumpano says it’s a good suggestion to restrict how a lot you drink and to be sure to’re ingesting water all through the meal (and day), too.
  • Slow down. With all these yummy decisions, chances are you’ll are likely to eat shortly. But Zumpano advises to decelerate and benefit from the meals you’re consuming. Try consuming together with your nondominant hand, which may actually allow you to decelerate.
  • Stop consuming as soon as full. Are your eyes greater than your abdomen? If so, that’s OK. You might really feel like you’ll want to eat each final morsel in your plate. But Zumpano says that you just shouldn’t pressure it. In truth, take note of how lengthy you’ve been consuming and once you attain the 10- to 15-minute mark, take a second to evaluate the way you’re feeling. If you are feeling full, then cease consuming. Try utilizing a smaller plate or filling your plate with greens first, as these don’t are typically as filling — that can depart much less room for the meat and carbs.
  • Talk a stroll. It’s most likely the very last thing you are feeling like doing, however going for a stroll across the neighborhood (or any type of train like a Turkey Trot race) can assist your digestive system work by way of that heavy meal you simply ate. Plus, exercise will hold you alert and enhance your vitality.
  • Get an excellent evening’s sleep the evening earlier than. The holidays, whereas enjoyable, will be disturbing. You must make dinner, clear the home, entertain out-of-town visitors and cope with any household drama. Zumpano says all these components can result in an absence of sleep. “It’s important to get enough rest, because that’s also going to increase the effects of the meal if you’re already tired to begin with,” she explains. “And it may also lead to you making poor decisions when it comes to eating.”

Give thanks!

It will be tempting to load up your plate with all Thanksgiving dinner has to supply. But if you happen to don’t like how you are feeling afterward, do not forget that you’re in management.

“If it’s a part of Thanksgiving that you don’t particularly enjoy, know that you can change the outcome,” encourages Zumpano. “You can take steps like watching how much you eat and drink exercising and getting enough sleep beforehand.”

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