Friday, November 28, 2008

Does Thanksgiving Dinner Make You Sleepy?

Is it the Tryptophan in the turkey that makes you tired?
This question came up at our Thanksgiving Dinner table yesterday and maybe it did at yours too.

According to this online article By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., Tryptophan & Carbohydrate Chemistry, it's not necessarily the tryptophan in the turkey that makes you sleepy after the Thanksgiving feast. Other factors such as over eating, alcohol intake and a high ratio of fats and carbohydrates are probably the major contributors. This overload requires the digestive system to work harder which increases the blood flow to to stomach, thus decreasing flow to the brain. Turkey actually contains only a small amount more of the chemical Tryptophan, than a lot of other foods. For example, Dr. Helmenstine states that turkey contains 0.333 g of tryptophan per 100 grams of edible portion, while chicken contains 0.292 g of tryptophan per 100 grams of edible portion. So, I guess that answers your question, Chuck!

Many Thanks to Sally and Chuck for a wonderful day yesterday at the New Jersey shore!