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Why Does Turkey Make You Tired?

November 16, 2017


One week away from Thanksgiving, so let’s talk about turkey. First, true confessions: I do not actually like eating turkey. I don’t like its taste, or the texture, or even the smell to be honest. STUFFING, on the other hand. Sweet potato pie. Cranberry sauce. Pumpkin everything. These are all the foods I can eat forever. 


But what about the turkey? Is it true that it makes you tired? More or less tired than other foods you might eat? Well, turkeys do contain the amino acid tryptophan, which is somewhat related to the sleep hormone melatonin, and so people think that eating turkey is what makes them tired. But, in fact, lots of other foods also contain tryptophan in similar concentrations, including many other kinds of poultry and virtually all cheese. Does eating these foods make us tired? Not particularly.


You know what is scientifically proven to make you tired, though? Consuming lots of alcohol (as people tend to do on Thanksgiving) (and other occasions) and also lots of carbohydrates (think: stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, etc). So when you’re napping at 5pm on Thanksgiving day, those are the culprits that you can blame for the food “coma” you may find yourself in. 

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