After Eating, Are You Tired? This is why:

You’ve just completed your meal. You’re not just stuff, but the afternoon slump is creeping up on you.

So, why do you usually feel exhausted after eating?

Overall, a drop in energy levels after eating is typical, but there are things you may do to mitigate the impact.

Julia Zumpano, RD, a registered dietitian, discusses what causes weariness and how to combat it.

Why are you so exhausted after you eat?

Postprandial somnolence, or the sense of being sleepy after eating, may be caused by a variety of factors. Certain meals might cause the production of hormones that make you fatigued. Feeling tired might also be caused by what you eat. Also, how much you consume might have an impact.

Another issue to consider is the quality of your sleep. It is suggested that you sleep for seven to nine hours each night. Even if you have difficulties sleeping one night, it may throw off your circadian cycle, making your body feel out of sync the rest of the day.

“You need to know how much sleep your body requires,” Zumpano explains. “Each person needs a different quantity of rest.”

Keep track of how many hours you sleep to figure out what the magic amount is for feeling rested and renewed throughout the day.

Also, alcohol should be avoided after a meal since it might make you feel lethargic, according to Zumpano.

Is it natural to be tired?

It’s natural to feel weary after eating a meal, particularly if it’s a high-carbohydrate, high-protein dinner.

“A meal takes between 30 and 40 hours to digest,” Zumpano explains. “Your body is always attempting to digest meals. It’s already digesting food when you put it in there, and then you add more. And if it’s a substantial dinner, it’ll basically bog your system down.”

Hormones have a vital function in digestion as well.

According to Zumpano, “some experts think that individuals feel weary after eating because their bodies produce more serotonin.” “The neurotransmitter serotonin affects mood and sleep cycles.”

Chicken, eggs, cheese, and fish all contain tryptophan, which is an important amino acid. Tryptophan aids in the production of serotonin in the body.

“When you consume a meal high in carbs and protein, you may feel sleepier because tryptophan from the protein is uptaken, followed by a rise in serotonin,” adds Zumpano.

Eating also causes your blood sugar levels to increase, which may make you feel tired.

“Insulin is the key that releases sugar into your circulation after you consume a meal,” Zumpano adds. “Your blood sugar increases when you consume a meal. Insulin enters the circulation to transport sugar from the bloodstream to the cells for energy.”

It may impact your tiredness level if you don’t have enough insulin or if your blood sugar levels increase.

Is it important what you eat?

Yes. Protein and carbohydrate-rich meals may make you feel more exhausted than other foods.

Protein-rich foods include the following:

  • Chicken.
  • Eggs.
  • Spinach.
  • Milk.
  • Cheese.
  • Fish.
  • Soy products.

Carbohydrate-rich foods include the following:

  • Desserts like cakes and cookies.
  • Pasta.
  • White bread.
  • Rice.
  • Sugar and candy.

Furthermore, eating in bigger amounts might overburden your digestive system while also generating chemicals that can make you drowsy.

Zumpano points out that “heavy meals take longer to digest.” “You’re more likely to feel sluggish if you eat a heavier or larger meal since your body needs to work a bit more to digest that food.”

It’s preferable to have a well-balanced meal that includes whole foods, protein, fibre, and healthy fats, according to Zumpano.

How to Recover from Post-Eating Fatigue

Are you weary of feeling drained after a meal? Zumpano demonstrates a few tactics.

Throughout the day, eat smaller meals.

Instead of three large meals a day spread out your meals throughout the day.

“Have half of your regular dinner and then add a snack before and after,” Zumpano advises. “That quantity of food is a lot simpler to digest, and you get small bursts of energy from it vs a bigger meal, which may make you feel sluggish.”

Snacks such as a piece of fruit or a handful of almonds might help you feel full in between meals.

Concentrate on getting enough sleep.

Sleep might have an impact on how you feel after a meal. Energy levels are influenced by your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s 24-hour internal clock. Your circadian rhythm is disrupted if you don’t get enough sleep, which might make you sleepy.

So, pay attention to your body. Do you feel exhausted and as though you need more sleep? Examine how much sleep you’re getting and if it’s sufficient for you.

“Some individuals may struggle with exhaustion at night and wind up staying up late, causing problems the following day,” Zumpano explains. “When they should be going to bed, they ignore their natural circadian cycle.”

Zumpano recommends winding down and getting to bed sooner if you start feeling weary around 9:30 p.m. or 10 p.m.

If you’re having trouble staying attentive and focused throughout the day, consider taking a sleep.

“If you can take a brief sleep throughout the day, that would assist,” Zumpano advises.


Moving your body, whether it’s a brief stroll around the block or a fast yoga practice, helps to maintain your blood sugar levels stable and your energy levels steady.

“If you’re about to have a heavy dinner, I recommend going for a 10- or 15-minute stroll to help your digestion,” Zumpano explains. “Exercise may also provide you with this natural rush of vitality.”

Consider what you’re consuming.

It’s critical that your meals be well-balanced.

“We generally concentrate on carbohydrates and protein, which are important components of a meal, but veggies are sometimes disregarded,” Zumpano explains. “Incorporate carbs into your diet by eating beans or vegetables such as sweet potatoes, squash, peas, or red-skinned potatoes. Half of your plate should contain non-starchy veggies, with the other half divided between protein and carbs.”

Zumpano recommends dividing your meals using a portioned container so that you may stuff the larger piece with vegetables and utilise the smaller portions for carbohydrates and protein.

Keep an eye on your caffeine intake.

We often go for more cups of coffee when we are in a food coma. However, you should keep your caffeine intake to a minimum.

Caffeine in excess might have the opposite effect. While it may keep you awake for the remainder of the day, it might affect how and when you sleep at night.

“Try to stretch that first cup of coffee throughout the morning,” Zumpano suggests. “Take a drink of it.” If you wish to drink numerous cups of tea, go half decaf or switch to black or caffeinated tea to avoid receiving too much caffeine all at once.”

Therapy with bright lights

According to research, bright-light treatment (commonly known as phototherapy) may help you avoid the post-meal slump.

“After lunch, having a bright-light bulb at your desk or place of work might assist,” Zumpano explains.

When does weariness become a major issue?

If you’ve done all of the above and still feel tired after eating, it’s time to see your doctor.

Excessive weariness after eating may be caused by a variety of medical issues, including:

  • Anemia.
  • Celiac disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • Food intolerances or allergies.
  • Sleep apnea.

“You could be missing an underlying problem,” Zumpano explains. “See your doctor if it hasn’t improved after you’ve made some modifications.”

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