Don’t Blame The Turkey or the Tryptophan

Alright, so there I was happily preparing to eat too much, blame the turkey and take a big old nap, and now it looks like I will just have to take a nap with no excuse at all, or at least not the “too much turkey” one. I know, bummer right? Sad truth, – there is tryptophan in turkey but not more than in other poultry. So what is the deal with The Thanksgiving snoozes?

Turkey does play a part, but it is actually the combination of carbs from all the other entrees, – potatoes, stuffing, bread and pies that are responsible for the sleepy feeling we often get after any big meal. The carbs stimulate your body to release insulin, helping clear other amino acids from the bloodstream so tryptophan can get to the brain.

Why does that make you sleepy? It doesn’t. (Stay with me,) Tryptophan is a component of the brain chemical serotonin, which gets converted into the hormone melatonin. It’s that melatonin that is actually responsible for making you feel sleepy.

If you need a nap after that explanation be my guest.

Meanwhile here is a link to a list of other foods high in Tryptophan. Live Strong – Foods high in tryptophan

Since Tryptophan is not produced in the body and is the least available amino acid, it’s worth knowing who is working for you if you  do want to snooze.

Psychology Today – tryptophan, what does it do?

Web MD – The truth about tryptophan

Dairy Nutrition – sleep and tryptophan

NBC News – eating turkey won’t make you sleepy

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