Have you ever felt so sleepy and tired after eating? Most of the people have had this experience and sometimes this phenomenon causes people to worry a little about their health conditions. People tend to fear that they have specific diseases and end up asking questions like "Why do I get tired after eating?"
For many people, feeling tired after eating, especially after lunch, can be very annoying as it will affect your productivity throughout the day. The most common reason why people tend to feel tired after eating is related to the food they eat. Tiredness after eating is the way your body reacts to the types of food you're eating. Some experts say that tiredness after eating is a normal condition. But, when you can't keep your eyes open and just want to sleep that much no matter what you eat, you need to worry more about your health as it could be a sign of health problems. In this article you will find the reasons why you feel so tired after eating.
Tired after eating is a normal condition
In most cases, the tiredness you feel after eating is normal. Everyone will experience this. Here are some explanations why feeling tired after eating is a normal condition.
- Bodily reactions to the food you eat
This is the most ideal explanation why you always feel tired after eating. You just feel tired because your body reacts to the food you just ate. After consuming sweets or baked goods, it's normal to feel tired afterward. Foods with high amounts of sugar cause your brain to release large amounts of the neurotransmitter and hormone serotonin, which will make people more likely to fall asleep.
Also, eating baked goods that contain flour will also cause your blood sugar to rise higher than normal. This will stimulate the pancreas to release large amounts of insulin, which will transport building blocks of proteins called tryptophan from the bloodstream to the brain, and then convert them into serotonin, making you feel tired and sleepy.
- The digestive system takes over the energy of your body.
This is one of the possibilities why you feel tired after eating. Digestive organs such as the small intestine and large intestine require large amounts of energy to function properly. After eating a few meals, your body needs to digest a lot of calories from food. In order to digest this large number of calories, your brain will switch your body's energy to focus on your digestive systems. This will release red blood cells to break down food and transport its nutrients to the body.
Since your body's attention is completely focused on digestion, the rest of your body tends to relax. This is why you feel tired and sleepy after eating. You may also feel tired after eating spicy foods. Your body needs to expend large amounts of energy to digest spicy food. Also, spicy foods will metabolize a chemical called capsaicin, which will make you feel tired.
- Side effects of large amounts of carbohydrates you just consumed
After consuming carbohydrate-rich foods such as rice, potatoes, or bread, you may feel drowsy. Eating high-glycemic carbohydrate foods will release large amounts of insulin, helping to store the sugar you just consumed as glycogen. This would have advanced sugar level lowering effects that will certainly make you feel tired, sleepy and sluggish. Therefore, if you want to suppress the possibility of tiredness after eating, consider low-carbohydrate foods to reduce the amount of carbohydrates in the body.
- Effects of too much stress
This is one of the possibilities in normal conditions because you always feel tired after eating. It is simply because you are mentally tired and stressed. Fatigue from too much stress can cause an "energy drain," leaving you feeling more tired than before. Unlike the other three reasons mentioned above, this possibility is not related to the digestive system, so all you can do is relax and get some rest.
- You're not getting enough exercise.
If you think being inactive or just sitting down during the day will help you maintain your energy, think again. On the contrary, staying active throughout the day will help reduce the chances of feeling tired after a meal. In fact, staying active all day will help you sleep better at night and stay alert during the day.
Tiredness after eating can be a symptom of health problems
While most of the common reasons why you feel tired after eating are due to your body's reaction to the food you just ate, there are also some health concerns when you always feel tired after eating. , no matter what food you are eating. . consumer.
These are the signs that can happen to you associated with tiredness after a meal. If these signs occur, you may have some problems related to your health problems.
- nutrient deficiencies
Anyone showing undigested food in their stools may have nutrient deficiency issues. Nutrient deficiency is a condition in which your body is unable to process the nutrients in the food you just ate. As a result, you won't get energy from food after a meal, making you tired and sleepy.
Diabetes is a type of condition in which your body is unable to produce insulin properly. As a diabetic, your body is unable to produce insulin, which is very important for regulating your blood sugar, storing it as glycogen or converting it to glucose, which will increase your energy. When blood sugar is not stored as glycogen or converted to glucose, it is clear that the blood sugar level rises suddenly, leading to headache, dizziness and fatigue.
- Food allergies and food intolerance
For all those who feel so tired after some meals and then many symptoms like diarrhoea, constipation or any allergic reaction follow, please avoid the same food next time you eat some meals as you may be allergic and intolerant. to certain ingredients of that food.
How to prevent tiredness after eating
After knowing why you always feel tired after eating, we recommend that you consider these tips to avoid feeling tired after eating.
- You need to ask yourself about your eating habits
First of all, you need to assess your eating habits, whether you usually eat food in a higher or lower portion. It is very important because the amount of food will decide how you feel afterwards. If you eat large portions of unhealthy foods, you're more likely to feel tired afterward. However, if you are forced to consume unhealthy foods, try reducing your portion size.
- eat less
This is a follow up to point 1. It's better to eat in small portions, but more often, rather than large portions all at once. A large portion of meals means your body needs more energy to digest it. You can balance the small portion of your meals with "in-between snacks" to get the calories you need for the day. Please note that you should have meals every 3 hours.
- eat healthy snacks
As already mentioned above, you should have intermediate snacks between the main meals. But it is not recommended to consume snacks with a large amount of sugar or carbohydrates. Snacks like fruit are the best option to maintain your body's energy level and get rid of the tired feeling after eating.
- Eat a high complex, high protein carbohydrate
Instead of eating junk food, you should consider your food carefully. Make sure that the foods you would like to eat contain complex carbohydrates and are also high in protein. Here is the example of the foods that you should choose due to their nutrients.
- Any type of vegetable, including tomatoes, cabbage, kale, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, onions, etc.
- any kind of fruit
- Green beans
- Whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat crackers, brown rice
- Chickpeas, egg, chicken breast, tuna, tofu, turkey breast
- Choose mineral water instead of coffee or alcohol
Sometimes having a glass of beer or coffee is more tempting than drinking mineral water, but don't do it if you don't want to feel tired after eating. While coffee is known to make you alert, coffee can get you addicted to caffeine, and that's not a good thing. Meanwhile, consuming alcohol is also not good because alcohol is sedative, so after drinking a glass of beer, it would not be a surprise if you feel more tired than before. Consuming mineral water is the best option as this drink will keep you hydrated throughout the day.
- Stay active after eating
After eating, you need to be active throughout the day, not just sit in one place for hours. It's always a good idea to get some exercise, even the simplest ones like walking home, taking the stairs instead of the elevators, or doing some stretching at the office. Just make sure you keep moving as this will help your blood flow properly and get rid of that tired feeling.
In short, feeling sleepy and tired after eating is a common condition, and it must be because it is your brain that converts your body's energy to digest all the calories from the food you just ate. In the meantime, you can prevent and reduce feelings of tiredness and drowsiness by eating healthy foods in smaller portions, in addition to applying the tips we've already given you above. Staying healthy!