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Does Turkey Make You Tired?

I can't get through a Thanksgiving meal without someone mentioning tryptophan. We all know that we'll gorge ourselves on turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie galore. Then plop ourselves on the couch in exhaustion, blaming the turkey's tryptophan for our comatose state. Is turkey really the culprit?

To find out

While it's true that turkey does contain the sleep inducing chemical tryptophan, its effects are only felt if you eat turkey on its own. Who just eats plain turkey with nothing else?

The truth is it's not the turkey that makes you sleepy. It's the fact that most people tend to overeat since the Thanksgiving table is laden with delicious food. Plus, if you eat a lot of high-carb foods like mashed potatoes, rice, corn bread, stuffing and apple pie, your body uses all its energy to digest it, which makes you feel really tired. If you've had some wine with dinner, forget it. The alcohol adds to your sleepiness.

Fit's Tips: If you want to avoid passing out before you get to try Aunt Elaine's famous apple peach cobbler, try eating a little taste of everything instead of stuffing your face. That way you can still indulge in the meal, and feel awake enough to enjoy it.


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Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
I think it's more of stuffing my face and WAY over-eating that makes me zonk out!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I actually don't stuff myself silly on Thanksgiving. I eat turkey and some of the sides, but I rarely eat dessert or drink any alcohol. And I never get the "turkey coma" that everyone else gets! This, of course, means I usually whoop up on everyone when we play Trivial Pursuit after dinner :)
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
My father passes out on the couch after we eat, it's hilarious...
slumberlite slumberlite 8 years
I believe in the tryptophan thing because I get sleepy after a turkey sandwich. It's not just the Thanksgiving face-stuffing coma.
prinzes3006 prinzes3006 8 years
I agree with you Liss :)!
prinzes3006 prinzes3006 8 years
I agree with you Liss :)!
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 8 years
Its thanksgiving! I will not be worried about my sugar, calories, or carbs intake. I'll burn it off at the gym later.
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
It wouldn't be thanksgiving if i didn't stuff my face!
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