The myth of diners undergoing feelings of drowsiness after eating Thanksgiving turkey has finally been laid to rest.
Some myths die hard. It is common knowledge for example that turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan. And so eating a large meal at Thanksgiving will send you to bed early and you will sleep like a log.
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But such is hardly the case. The truth lies somewhere else. Tryptophan indeed is needed for the formation of serotonin. And serotonin is needed for a good night’s sleep. But turkey contains the same amount of tryptophan levels as chicken or even beef for that matter, according to NYTimes.
In fact, nuts and cheese contain more tryptophan than turkey and other meats. Although tryptophan can indeed make you a little drowsy, its action is blocked by other amino acids. And these are present in excess in turkey meat.
Although most people feel a little worn out after Thanksgiving dinner, it is most probably due to the tons of potatoes, stuffing, yams, rolls and pies that they have consumed along with the turkey. It is all those carbohydrates that lead to a full stomach and a rosy outlook on life. And so sweet sleep comes easily after the big meal consisting of rich food.
Many sites on the Internet have debunked the turkey and tryptophan myth. Thus the next time you consume turkey, don’t go jumping to conclusions as far as the sleep hypothesis is concerned.
That is because it is just an old wive’s tale. Eat anything to excess and you will feel sleepy. Even if you were to chomp down on a large T-bone steak, you would feel just as sedated afterwards as you would after consuming turkey. So many times we confuse co-relation with causation.
All food lovers know that it is the oversupply of calories that produces a somnolescent state and not any particular type of food. Since most Americans love food and often eat as much as 4000 calories at Thanksgiving Dinner, the result will obviously be fatigue and an overloaded system. And one obviously cannot engage in strenuous activity after eating such a heavy meal.
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So the smart choice would be to partake of some rest and relaxation to allow the cumbersome meal to settle down. Thus the need for catching one’s Z’s via the Land of Nod. Since the body needs to process all that extra food, it goes into overdrive and thus lethargy and fatigue set in.