If you often find yourself feeling tired after eating, you are not alone. There are several reasons why this may be happening.
The two most common reasons for tiredness after eating are food allergies and eating foods that contain certain substances that increase fatigue.
The first question to ask yourself when you are trying to determine why you feel tired after eating is does it always occur after a certain meal? Are you tired after every meal? What kinds of foods do you typically eat, and which ones have you just eaten when you feel extreme tiredness after eating?
That’s because when you are allergic to a food – or any substance for that matter – your body creates antibodies to fight the “intruder.” This requires energy, which makes you tired.
If you suspect that you have a food allergy that is making you tired after eating, try an elimination diet. Stop eating the food you suspect for a week and see if you have more energy.
If you’re not sure which food or foods you’re allergic to, you will need to experiment by eliminating a different food each week. Or you can try limiting what you eat and slowly reintroducing foods back into your diet until you find the one that is causing that tiredness after eating.
Sugar Highs and Lows
While you may not be allergic to sugar, eating too much of it can cause tiredness after eating. Sugar is a refined carbohydrate that sends your blood sugar level way up as soon as you eat it.
While this will provide you with a burst of energy, the energy from sugar does not last long, and you will feel tired as soon as your body uses up the energy.
You can reduce the likelihood of feeling tired after eating by switching from refined (white) sugar and flour products to whole grains and high-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables, which take a longer time to digest.
Blood Sugar Levels and Tiredness after Eating
If you are diabetic, you probably already know that eating sugars and starches will cause you to feel tired after eating. However, many people have diabetes or pre-diabetes and do not know it.
If you feel extreme tiredness after eating, you might want to ask your doctor to test your blood glucose levels.
You might also experience extreme tiredness after eating if you are prone to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
While this sounds like the opposite of diabetes, it actually has the same effect when it comes to feeling sluggish after eating a meal that is high in sugars and refined starches.
That’s because sugars and starches cause insulin levels to rise, and high insulin levels cause you to feel tired.
In addition, starches trigger the production of serotonin, which is intended to relax the body. Too much serotonin can also cause you to feel tired after eating.
The Tryptophan Connection
Certain foods contain an amino acid known as tryptophan that is often to blame for tiredness after eating. Tryptophan is found in turkey, dairy products and soy protein.
The body uses tryptophan to manufacturer serotonin and melatonin, which are both neurotransmitters that have a calming effect.
However, this only happens when carbohydrates are eaten along with tryptophan. The carbohydrates cause the pancreas to release insulin and also cause other amino acids to leave the bloodstream and enter muscles cells.
This leaves tryptophan on its own in the bloodstream, so to speak. As a result, you will feel tired.
Fatty Foods can Make you Sluggish
If you eat a high-fat meal, you will feel tired after eating because fat is harder for the body to digest than carbohydrates and protein.
When you eat a lot of fat, your digestive system becomes sluggish, and your body sends more blood to your digestive organs so that the job of digesting your food can be done.
The result is a decrease in blood flow to other parts of your body, which leaves you with a feeling of fatigue. The same effect will occur if you overeat in general, even if the meal is not high in fat.
Too much food means your digestive system has to worker harder than it should and, again, you will feel tired after eating.
While you may not think of drinking alcohol in relation to feeling tired after eating, if you have a few beers or a glass of wine with a meal, it may be the alcohol that is making you tired.
Alcohol is a depressant, and it may also make you eat more, which will cause your digestive system to work extra.
Eating for Energy
You can find tips on how to do this plus a wealth of other information on overcoming tiredness in the ebook “End Tiredness Program”.