WHAT CAUSES FOOD COMAS?
We’ve all been there: grabbed a burger and fries for lunch or enjoyed a Sunday roast only to fall asleep at your desk or on the sofa afterwards. While carbohydrates are usually blamed for food comas, a new US study suggests it’s protein and salty foods that cause sleepiness after eating a big meal – not the carbs at all.
Research from Ohio’s Bowling Green State University shows the body may need to work harder to digest high-protein foods and salt, resulting in tiredness.
Angus Stewart, senior lecturer in nutrition and dietetics at Edith Cowan University in Perth, says, “We may have evolved different mechanisms to make us sleepy after ingesting to give our bodies a better opportunity to digest. You can also get a bit sleepy if you haven’t had a large amount of protein for a while and eat a high-protein meal, or if you’ve been eating very frugally and then have a blow-out.”
If you start to nod off after eating, Stewart recommends waiting half an hour for your food to settle, then going for a walk to boost your activity levels.