Let’s Talk Turkey and Tryptophan

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Turkey and Tryptophan

It is often thought that the holiday turkey also brings holiday naps.  Everyone knows it is the tryptophan and after ingesting the turkey we are all suppose to be tired because that is what turkey does to your body.  There is usually a family expert that can assure you of how the tryptophan works and has experienced the tryptophan nap for years.  If only the children were affected more after dinner, but it only seems to affect the adults.  Is the turkey all to blame or is there more to it?

Turkey contains one of the Amino Acids L-tryptophan.  It is one of many amino acids that our body uses to function daily.  This specific amino acid once ingested will travel from the digestive system to the blood and into the brain.  Once in the brain L-tryptophan will change into serotonin.  It is serotonin that helps us relax and can make us tired.  L-tryptophan also works to produce another hormone called melatonin which can also make you feel tired.   L-tryptophan is present in most meats and cheeses, so this is not just a turkey thing.   If this was the only amino acid the turkey had, then this would make us drowsy.  Turkey fortunately contains many other amino acids, so it is not the reason we become drowsy.  We become drowsy due to the amount of food we consume during this holiday.  We typically starve ourselves all day, only to consume massive amounts of starch and calories in one sitting. The digestion process requires more blood flow.  This reduces blood flow to the brain and we in turn become sleepy.

If you want to be more alert on this Thanksgiving, follow some simple steps.  Drink a full glass of water before and during your meal.  It will allow you to be full sooner.  Eat a smaller portion and don’t skip breakfast.  You will not be tempted to eat more of the main course if you have snacked throughout the day. Finally, do not sit down right after eating.  Stay up, move around and be active.  This is a good time to take the dog for a walk or take a walk with a family member.

This article was written by Aaron Workman, DC one of the members of Chambers Medical Group’s team of car accident chiropractors who offer a variety of treatments and therapies ranging from diagnostic testing to various soft tissue therapies for car accidents and injuries in Kentucky.

If you or somebody you know has been in a car accident, be sure that you seek medical attention from a car accident doctor or car accident chiropractor to treat your injuries. Visit Chambers Medical Group  to receive world-class medical treatment for your injuries.

Chambers Medical Group has car accident medical clinics in the following locations:

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