Have you heard the myth that the tryptophan in turkey causes post thanksgiving meal sleepiness? Does turkey make you tired because it has tryptophan is in it? It is true that turkey has tryptophan, an essential amino acid in all animal meat, although turkey doesn’t have any more tryptophan than other proteins like chicken. Further more, a high dose of tryptophan doesn’t actually cause sleepiness; it just ends up in line at the blood brain barrier waiting for its turn to pass through so it can’t raise serotonin levels and cause sleepiness. The reason why we get sleepy after a big thanksgiving meal is simple. When we eat a ton of food, it’s hard to digest all that food and we get physically tired from the process. That large Thanksgiving meal is a lot of work to digest and afterwards the body demands a nap! Happy Thanksgiving!
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