Why Does Turkey Make You Sleepy? Tryptophan

Why is it that you get so tired when you feast on your turkey dinner on Thanksgiving? Is it tryptophan or is it all in your head. Let’s start with what tryptophan is exactly. WebMD writes:

L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid. The body can’t make it, so diet must supply tryptophan. Amino acids are building blocks of proteins. Foods rich in tryptophan include, you guessed it, turkey. Tryptophan is also found in other poultry, meat, cheese, yogurt, fish, and eggs. Tryptophan is needed for the body to produce serotonin. Serotonin is used to make melatonin, a hormone that helps to control your sleep and wake cycles.

Now let’s get back to the question again. Why does turkey make you sleepy? Here’s the answer: Don’t blame the turkey. WebMD writes:

It boils down to Thanksgiving being a time when people overeat,. When people overeat food, the digestion process takes a lot of energy. Don’t incriminate the turkey that you ate, incriminate the three plates of food that you piled high.

The whole turkey makes you sleepy thing is a myth. Don’t load up as much food on your plate and you’ll notice that you’re not passing out on the couch with your pants unbuttoned after dinner.


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