Have you ever felt so drowsy and tired after eating? Most people had this experience and sometimes this phenomenon makes people become little bit concerns about their health conditions. People tend to afraid that they are suffering from specific diseases and they ended up asking questions like “Why am I tired after eating?”.
For many people, feeling tired after eating, especially after they get their lunch, could be very disturbing since it will affect your productivity throughout the day. The most common thing on why people tend to feel tired after eating is related to food that you consume. The tiredness after eating is a form of reaction from your body to types of food you are consuming. Some experts say the tiredness after eating is a normal condition. But, when you can’t keep your eyes open and just want to sleep so bad no matter what you eat, you should be more concerns about your health since it could be a signal for health problems. In this article, you will find the causes on why you feel so tired after eating.
Tired after Eating is a Normal Condition
In most cases, the tiredness that you feel after eating a food is a normal situation. Everybody will experience this thing. Here are some explanations on why feeling tired after having a meal is a normal condition.
- Body Reactions Against Food That You Eat
This is the most ideal explanation on why you always feel tired after having a meal. You just feel tired because of your body reacts to the food that you already just ate. After you consume sweet or bakery products, that’s pretty normal if you feel tired afterwards. Food that has a great amount of sugar causes your brain to release high amounts of neurotransmitter and serotonin hormone, which will make people tend to fall asleep.
Besides, eating bakery products that contain flour will also make the blood sugar rise higher than normal. This thing will stimulate your pancreas to release great amounts of insulin, which will transports protein blocks called tryptophan from the bloodstream to your brain, then it will convert into serotonin that will make you feel tired and sleepy.
- Digestive System Take Over Your Body’s Energy
This is one of the possibilities on why you feel tired after eating. Digestive organs like small intestine and large intestine requires high amounts of energy so they can work properly. After you have some meals, your body needs to digest lots amount of calories from your food. To digest this high amount of calories, your brain will shifts your body’s energy to focus on digestive systems. This will releases the red blood cells over to break down the food and transport its nutrients into your body.
Because your body’s attention is fully focused on digestion, the rest of your body tends to relax. This is why you feel tired and drowsy after having a meal. You might also feel tired after eating spicy foods. Your body needs to spend huge amounts of energy to digest spicy food. Also, spicy food will metabolize a chemical called capsaicin, which will make you feel tired.
- Side Effects of High Amounts of Carbohydrate That You Just Consume
After you consume food with high amount of carbohydrate such as rice, potatoes, or bread, you might feel drowsy afterwards. Consuming foods with high-glycemic index carbohydrates will release high amounts of insulin, which will help to store the sugar you just consumed as glycogen. This would have advance effects on dropping your sugar level, which without a doubt will make you feel tired, drowsy, and sluggish. So, if you want to suppress the possibility of tiredness after eating, you should consider low-carbohydrate food to decrease the amount of carbohydrate in the body.
- Effects on Over-Stressed
This is one of the possibilities on normal condition why you always feel tired after eating food. It is simply just because you are mentally tired and stressed. The tiredness because over-stressed can cause an “energy draining”, which will make you become more tired than before. Unlike the other three reasons as mentioned above, this possibility doesn’t relate to the digestive system, so all you can do is just relax and rest a little while.
- You’re Not Exercise Enough
If you think that stay inactive or just sit throughout the day will help you to maintain your energy, well you’re wrong. On the contrary, staying active throughout the day will help you to reduce the possibilities of feeling tired after having a meal. In fact staying active all the day would help you to get a better sleep in the night and stay alert during the day.
Tired After Eating Could be a Sign of Health Problems
While most of the common reason on why you feel tired after eating is because your body reaction to food that you just ate, there are also some concerns regarding your health when you are always feeling tired after having a meal, no matter what food you are consuming.
These are the signs that could happen to you associated with tiredness after meal. If these signs occur, you might have some problems related to your health problems.
- Nutrient Deficiencies
Everyone of you who evidence undigested food in your feces might have nutrient deficiencies problems. Nutrient deficiency is a condition where your body is unable to process the nutrients from the food you just ate. As the results, you wouldn’t gain any energy from your food after having a meal, which will make you feel tired and sleepy.
Diabetes is a kind of condition when your body couldn’t produce insulin properly. As diabetics, your body is unable to produce insulin which is really important to regulate your blood sugar level, either to stored it as glycogen, or transform it into glucose which will boost your energy. When your blood sugar doesn’t store as glycogen or transformed as glucose, of course your blood sugar level will increase suddenly, which will lead to headache, dizziness, and fatigue.
- Food Allergies and Food Intolerance
For everyone of you who feel so tired after having some meals, and then follows up by many symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, or any allergic reactions, you should avoid the same food next time you have some meals as you could be allergic and have intolerance to certain ingredients in that food.
How to Prevents the Tiredness after Eating
After you know the reason on why you always feel tired after eating, we recommend you to consider these tips so you avoided from tiredness after eating.
- You Need to Ask Yourself About Your Eating Habits
First of all you need to evaluate your eating habits, either you frequently like to eat food on a higher portion or in a lower portion. It is very important because the quantity of your meal will decide what will you feel afterwards. If you eat large portions of unhealthy food, you will be more likely to feel tired afterwards. However, if you forced to consume unhealthy foods, just try to reduce the size of your portion.
- Eat Less
This is the follow up from the point 1. It is better to eat at a small portion, but more frequently rather than huge portions at once. A large portion of meals means that your body needs more energy to digest it. You could balance the small portion of your meals with “mid-snacks”, so you will get calories that you need throughout the day. Take a notice that you must take meals every 3 hours.
- Eat Healthy Snacks
As already mentioned above, you should take mid-snacks in between your main meals schedule. But you are not recommended to consume snacks with high amount of sugar or carbs. Snack like fruit is best choice to maintain the energy level of your body and get rid of the feeling of tiredness after eating.
- Eat a high complex-carbohydrate and high protein
Instead of eating junk food, you should consider your food carefully. Make sure that the food that you would like to eat contains complex carbohydrate and also high protein. Here is the example of foods you should choose because of its nutrients.
- Any kind of vegetables, including tomatoes, cabbage, sprouts, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, onions, etc.
- Any kind of fruits
- Green beans
- Whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat crackers, brown rice
- Chickpeas, egg, chicken breast, tuna, tofu, turkey breast
- Choose mineral water rather than coffee or alcohol
Sometimes, make a glass of beer or coffee is more tempting, rather than consuming mineral water, but don’t do that if you don’t want to feel tired after eating. Although coffee is widely known to make you stay alert, coffee can make you become addicted to caffeine, and it is not a good thing. Meanwhile, consuming alcohol is also not a good thing because alcohol is sedative, so after you consume a glass of beer, it would not be a surprise if you become more tired than before. Consuming mineral water is the best choice since this beverage will keep you hydrated troughout the day.
- Stay Active After You Eating
After eating, you should keep yourself active during the day, don’t just sit down in the same place for hours. It is always a good idea to have some exercises, even the most simple one like walking on your way home, use stairs instead of elevators, or do some stretches in your office. Just make sure that you keep yourself moving since it will help you to get proper blood flowing and get rid of tired feeling.
In summary, feeling sleepy and tired after eating is a common condition, and it should be because it is your brain that convert your body’s energy to digest all of calories from food that you just ate. Meanwhile, you can prevent and reduce the feeling of tiredness and sleepiness by consuming healthy food with smaller portions, alongside apply the tips that we already provided above. Stay healthy!