Facts of LifeDo you feel sleepy after eating? [Archives:2005/825/Health]

March 17 2005

By Dr. Khaled M. Nsour
[email protected]

Have you ever felt like needing a nap after having a well-cooked meal? And did you think why you feel cold too?

Well, unless the reason was that you are escaping cleaning the dishes it will probably be due to one or more factors below.

Eating sugary foods or those made from flour, such as bakery products or pastas, causes blood sugar to rise higher than normal. This causes your pancreas to release large amounts of insulin, which drives one of the protein building blocks called tryptophan (see fig 1 ) from your bloodstream into your brain, where it is converted to serotonin that makes people fall asleep naturally at night.

Many meals contain the L-tryptophan. This essential (cannot be made in the body) amino acid needs to be taken on an empty stomach and without any other amino acids or protein in order to make you drowsy.

Some people think, however, that feeling drowsy is not necessarily due to this tryptophan. Tracy Gensler, a registered dietitian in Chevy Chase, U.S.A, says tryptophan does not deserve nearly the blame it gets for making us sleepy. “The body wants to focus its efforts on digestion