By Erin Schumaker, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Nov. 25, 2015 –
Why Does Turkey Make You Tired?
That’s a trick question. It doesn’t. The myth that tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, makes you sleepy, is just that. A myth.
If you’ve ever felt the urge to plop down on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner that sleepy feeling isn’t all in your head. It’s actually caused by the combination of tryptophan with high quantities of carbohydrates.
In reality, tryptophan is found in many protein-rich foods, including nuts, seeds, soy, cheese, eggs, fish and chicken, according to Kim Larson, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and owner of Seattle-based Total Health.
“Turkey is not the only food we get tryptophan from, and it’s in relatively average amounts in turkey,” Larson said. “It’s not the highest source.”
“Carbohydrates are the vehicle that really drive the sleepiness, especially excessive amounts of them,” Larson said.