Why am I so Tired After I Eat?
Eating is vital to keeping yourself fit and healthy, but if you find yourself asking “Why am I so Tired After I Eat?” then keep on reading, because in this article we will be looking at the different processes involved in eating and digestion, and the effects this can have on the body.
The important thing to note is that, in most cases, feeling tired after a meal is not something to be concerned about. If it happens a lot, though, then you may need to consider altering your diet and behavior to reduce the impact.
Why Does Eating Make Me Tired?
The consumption of food is how we provide energy to our bodies. Everything we do, from breathing to running, requires supplies of glucose to work properly, which is a substance our body makes by breaking down and digesting food. Regularly eating healthy food will keep your body ready for anything, ensuring both physical and mental preparedness.
While the production of energy itself doesn’t make you feel tired, the digestive process can also release other chemicals into the body that induce a sleepy feeling. This happens because not all food is the same and your body has to react differently to each substance that enters your body. There are two main factors that affect the way your body deals with the food you eat; the type of food, and whether you have any allergies.
The chemicals released when you break down food will enter your bloodstream and pass around your body. Not all of these are needed in such great quantities, so your body takes steps to balance out the levels.
High protein foods like turkey, spinach, eggs, cheese, and fish, for example, all contain high levels of an amino acid called tryptophan. This is one of the main ingredients for your body’s production of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is responsible for a feeling of well-being and happiness. It also has a drowsy effect, especially in higher quantities, so it can make you feel tired after a large meal.
Bananas have been shown to have a relaxing effect on your muscles and some foods like cherries directly affect the levels of melatonin in your body, which is the neurotransmitter involved in regulating your sleep cycles. Too much of it, and you’ll be sure to want to have a nap.
The worst offender, though, is sugar. Most processed foods contain large quantities, and when there are high amounts in your body it will release insulin to try and get things under control. This is a perfectly normal function, but when a lot of insulin is present, larger amounts of tryptophan make their way to the brain and break down into serotonin and melatonin, which then makes you feel sleepy.
Changing Your Diet
Most problems associated with eating will happen as a result of a poor diet. Those who eat foods that are high in sugar, processed foods, or have a high protein diet will probably find that they feel a lot more sleepy after meals than they should do. This is easy to remedy, though, by improving your overall diet.
Reducing your sugar intake is the most important factor, and increasing the amount of water you drink in place of fizzy drinks will be a good start. You should also start eating more vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats as these are all linked with more efficient and sustained energy production.
Allergies to certain foods are known to make you feel sleepy alongside a number of other side effects. If you are also experiencing digestive troubles like bloating, wind, indigestion, or constipation, then it’s quite possible that the sleepy feeling is simply a symptom.
If you have a good diet and aren’t allergic to anything, then there are a few other factors, related to your lifestyle, that can leave you feeling tired after eating.
If you struggle sleeping at nighttime, or don’t have a regular sleeping pattern, your body will often try to take any opportunity it can to take a rest. If, after eating, you are feeling content and relaxed, this would be an opportune time for a nap. Similarly, if you don’t do enough exercise in your daily regime, you will become more lethargic and prone to feeling sleepy more of the time.
Both of these factors help with each other so are fairly simple to resolve. By doing more exercise you’ll have more energy during the day and find it easier to sleep at night. Your sleep cycles will normalize and the tired feelings after meals will stop.
The Final Word
Eating is a vital process to continue functioning, but it can be disruptive to your day if you keep feeling sleepy after you have had a meal. This usually happens because of a poor diet and can be solved by improving your intake. It can also be linked to your lifestyle, which can also be adapted to help with things.
If these ideas don’t help and you’re still wondering ‘why am I so tired after I eat?’, then it may be worth visiting a doctor. Feeling sleepy after occasional meals is completely normal, but if it’s happening a lot it could be a sign of an underlying problem.