How To Overcome Food Coma

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food coma

Food coma is something we all have experienced at some point in our lives. Remember the afternoon when you had a heavy lunch with friends at home and then just didnā€™t feel like getting up from bed. You felt like just lying there and changing the channels of the television. That is exactly what a food coma is all about. In medical terminology, it is called ā€˜Postprandial Somnolenceā€™. It can be described as a feeling of extreme fatigue and lethargy that can last for several hours especially after a large meal.

Symptoms

The symptoms commonly experienced are heaviness, laziness, bloating of the stomach, and a feeling of tightness in the stomach. All this is accompanied by sleepiness and a semi-vegetative state where you do not feel like doing anything besides laying in a comfortable position and actually not sleeping.

Causes

 There are several theories that explain the state of food coma. We will discuss the three most relevant ones:

  1. Eating foods with high tryptophan levels: Tryptophan is an amino acid. When this amino acid is consumed along with carbohydrates rich foods, it boosts the levels of the hormone serotonin. This hormone is responsible for inducing sleep and also aids in digestion. Food rich in tryptophan are chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cheese, and milk.
  2. Changes in blood flow to the brain: On eating a large meal the stomach expands. This expansion activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). The PNS regulates the bodily functions like the heart rate, digestion and blood pressure. Hence, after a large meal the PNS triggers more of the blood flow towards the digestive organs and less towards the brain. Thus, causing you to feel sleepy and tired.
  3. High Fat Meal/ High Calorie Meal:  Research has shown that a high fat meal leads to high levels of the hormone cholecystokinin in the body. Cholecystokinin hormone is known to suppress hunger and induce sleep. Thus, leading to food coma state.

Prevention of Food Coma

  1. Include liquids to meal: When out on a lunch/dinner date with friends or relatives include a liquid like soup or smoothie to the meal. The liquid causes a feeling of fullness without you consuming a large meal.
  2. Get proper sleep: If you plans for a lunch or dinner date which you know will result in a large meal, take proper rest and sleep prior to it, so that the sleep factor does not enhance the food coma state.
  3. Balanced Meals: Balanced meals with the correct portions of proteins, carbs, and fats do not let you fall prey to only food coma but also weight gain.
  4. Controlled portions of different types of foods like the fish and the carbs helps to check food coma.
  5. Get active after a meal: A small brisk walk does the magic of keeping food coma away after a large meal. The activity also helps to burn a few calories.

A Word From H2FCare

An occasional food coma is not harmful to your health. However, do not let it become a regular part of your life because that is when t will start harming your fitness, health, and in the long run your happiness too. Remember to eat balanced small portions of meals always and to remain active to be fit.

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