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Main causes and how to stop them

If you often feel tired after eating, you’re probably wondering if you should avoid or target something to boost your energy. Post-meal sleepiness is a common problem that many people experience after lunch (hence the name “afternoon sleepiness”). This is also the time of day when sugar and caffeine cravings typically kick in, which is tempting as it can offset afternoon sleepiness.
Rather than masking your tiredness with sweets and coffee, it’s better to structure your meals to support your energy. We’ll see below how to do that and what foods you should limit that can cause you to lose your energy.

Why am I tired after eating?

What do you call tiredness after eating? Another way of describing “feeding coma” is postmeal fatigue, also known as postmeal sleepiness. You’re more likely to feel this way after eating a large meal, especially one high in fat, refined carbohydrates, and/or sugar (once the sugar’s effects wear off). If you find your motivation and focus slipping shortly after eating, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why am I breaking down after eating?”

One of the main causes of fatigue after a meal is a drop in blood sugar (glucose).

After eating candy or refined carbohydrates, insulin levels rise, but a few hours later levels drop and blood sugar levels plummet. This phenomenon can cause lethargy, fatigue, food cravings, and brain fog, although the severity of these symptoms varies from person to person.

Sugar and processed “white” carbs also cause the release of more serotonin, which is a “happy chemical” but can also make you feel relaxed and sleepy. Other reasons you may feel sleepy after eating include the functioning of your parasympathetic nervous system and your circadian rhythm.

Your parasympathetic nervous system is the part of your nervous system responsible for the “rest and digestion” processes. It responds to eating by making you more relaxed. Animals, including humans, have built-in “alertness cues” that keep them awake and alert when hungry. These signals help them find and procure food. It follows that when an animal (or a human) has eaten a lot, these signals of alertness disappear and are replaced by feelings of exhaustion.

Eating also causes a surge of blood into the digestive system to aid in digestion. Breaking down food takes a lot of work off your body, and this process takes a lot of energy and can cause your mood and arousal levels to drop. Your circadian rhythm, or “body clock,” plays a role in your energy levels throughout the day, even after you eat. It’s considered natural and “normal” to feel a bit tired in the afternoon, usually between 2 and 4 p.m., which is a few hours after lunchtime for most people. You may be feeling sleepy more because of your normal circadian cycle than because of your last meal.

How to stop feeling tired after eating

What Foods Cause Fatigue?

You should avoid consuming too many carbs (especially refined carbs) and sugars at once without consuming enough protein, fiber, and fat to balance it all. Large, heavy, high-fat meals (fried foods, fast foods, and processed meats) can also drain you of energy because your body needs time to digest them. Food intolerance can also contribute to postmeal sleepiness in some people. Sensitive foods or potential allergens may include wheat/gluten, dairy, tree nuts, or shellfish. Of course, alcohol can also affect your mood and ability to focus, so avoid alcoholic beverages when you know you need to be on your toes.

Why are we tired after a big meal?

Meal times are a matter of taste, as everyone is a little different. Some prefer to eat two or three meals a day, for example when practicing intermittent fasting, while others prefer to eat every three or four hours. Experiment a little to find which schedule works best for you. You may be the type of person who benefits from eating three small meals and a snack or two a day as these smaller meals put less stress on your digestive system.

What is the best composition of meals to prevent fatigue?

Overall, try to find a balance by including high-fiber foods, healthy fats, protein, and vegetables. Be careful not to indulge in refined carbohydrates such as pasta dishes, cereal, protein-free cereal bowls, pasta dishes, candy, etc. When in doubt, add a few veggies to a protein dish, like sautéed chicken or fish, and stir in some fat, like olive oil or sliced ​​avocado to top it off. However, keep in mind that excess protein makes some people feel sluggish, likely due to increased release of tryptophan, an amino acid found in high-protein foods like turkey, milk, meat, and eggs that triggers the production of serotonin.

What are the best foods to boost your energy?

Most importantly, try to get enough protein, such as:

– Poultry
– grass-fed meat
– eggs
– Fishes
– plant-based proteins such as beans and nuts

Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits can also give you a quick boost of energy, but don’t overdo it. Foods that provide you with B vitamins like B12 and B6, vitamin D, and iron can also help boost your energy levels. B vitamins and iron are especially important to support digestion and the metabolic processes that convert nutrients from your diet into usable energy.

Finally, make sure to drink enough water (and not too much caffeine, alcohol, or sugary drinks), as hydration is essential to feeling good.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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