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Why Do I Get Sleepy After Eating Sugar

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Why Do You Get Tired After A Meal

Why You Get Tired After Eating SUGAR!

You just ate a meal, and suddenly, you feel tired. You might even start to nod off in the middle of your favorite TV show. But how is this possible? After all, weve been told for years that we need to eat frequently to maintain our energy levels and weight.

What’s going on in your body that makes you suddenly feel sleepy? And can anything be done to prevent this from happening? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more. !

Science Behind A Sugar Crash

When you eat foods that contain added sugar, those sugars “quickly absorb into the bloodstream and cause a spike in your blood sugar level, also known as your blood glucose level,” says Alicia Galvin, RD, a registered dietitian in Dallas. Added sugars include ingredients like honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar. These “natural” sugars aren’t necessarily better for you. Metabolically, they affect blood glucose in a similar way to other sugars, like cane sugar, she says.

As a result, that blood sugar spike might make you feel more energetic, but it’s unlikely that vigor to tackle your to-do list will last long. “Since our body likes to have levels balanced, this quick increase in blood sugar causes a surge of insulin to be produced to try to quickly bring the blood levels back in balance,” explains Galvin. The fast dip in blood sugar is also known as a sugar crash.

Why Do You Experience Fatigue After Eating

Eating is supposed to boost your energy right? Feeling sleepy after having a meal can be normal, especially if it was a heavy meal. But are you among those who frequently experience fatigue after eating? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. We see countless people in our nutritional coaching program with this problem. People often resort to coffee and energy drinks thinking that they might help. But all they get is a temporary relief, and the problem soon returns. In such cases, understanding the root cause of the problem is important for effectively dealing with what is going on.

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Relation Between Adrenal Fatigue And Post

Your body is equipped with a natural stress-fighting mechanism called the NeuroEndoMetabolic Stress Response system. It is an intricate network of various organs and six circuits, including the bioenergetics circuit, which function in close coordination to help fight stress. A pair of walnut-shaped adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, are also part of the response system.

During stressful situations, the NEM signals your adrenal glands to secrete the anti-stress hormone cortisol. However, when stress is constant, the adrenals can get overburdened and are no longer able to secrete adequate cortisol. This can affect the natural stress-fighting ability of your body, which can lead to adrenal fatigue.

Frequently experiencing extreme fatigue along with symptoms such as low energy levels, difficulty in waking up, insomnia, brain fog, anxiety, stubborn weight gain, constipation, low concentration levels, and craving for salty and fatty food indicate signs of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome .

As the adrenals get more and more overworked with consistent stress, the result is a cortisol imbalance which can disturb the entire NEM stress response system. As the NEM connects various organs and circuits, the function of related organs is also affected.

Why Sugar Makes Us Sleepy

Phlegm After Eating, Constant Phlegm

John Updike, in his short story “Plumbing,” summarized human nature thusly: “We think we are what we think and see when in truth we are upright bags of tripe.” This is a tragic fact that we spend most our lives trying to forget. Although we like to imagine ourselves as the driver – our consciousness is in full control – that belief is a lovely illusion. In reality, we are mere passengers aboard the body, strapped to a fleshy engine that is driving us.

Consider the orexin system. Secreted by a small cluster of neurons in the hypothalamus, orexin is a neuropeptide that regulates an astonishing array of mental properties, from sleepiness to hunger. People with chronically low levels of orexin suffer from narcolepsy and obesity many also have cataplexy, which occurs when the experience of strong emotions triggers a sudden weakening of skeletal muscles. Studies have shown that injecting mice with orexin increases metabolism, largely because it makes the animals more active. The reverse is also true: low levels of orexin make people feel rundown and tired. This helps explain the mechanics of sleep deprivation, as keeping monkeys awake for extended periods all but silences their orexin cells. In many respects, orexin acts like an internal gas pedal, as even slight twitches in the system can dramatically shift levels of activity.

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Does The Food You Eat Matter

Yes. Meals that are rich in protein and carbohydrates may make you feel more tired than other foods.

Foods that are rich in protein include:

Foods that are high in carbohydrates include:

  • Desserts like cakes and cookies.
  • Sugar and candy.

And if youre eating larger quantities, it can overload your digestive system in addition to releasing hormones that can cause tiredness.

Heavy meals take longer to digest, notes Zumpano. So, if youre eating a heavier meal or a bigger meal, youre more likely to feel sluggish because your body has to work a little extra hard to digest that meal.

Zumpano says its best to eat a well-balanced meal that contains whole foods, protein, fiber and healthy fats.

How To Stop Feeling Tired After Eating

You donât have to let your lunch dictate how your afternoon will go! Here are some helpful tips to fight afternoon post-meal fatigue:

Practice good sleep hygiene

Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night to perform at their cognitive and physiological best. It might be normal to get a bad nightâs sleep every now and then, but if itâs happening on a regular basis itâs time to brush up on your sleep hygiene!

Limit lights from electronics at least two hours before bedtime as it stimulates the brain, keeping you awake. Dim any room lights at night to prepare your body to sleep. Avoid bright lighting before bedtime, and keep the bedroom dark.

Balance your meals

If a large lunchtime meal is causing the post-lunch slump, try eating smaller meals, and snacks spread throughout the day. But itâs not about nixing all carbohydrates. Tayler Silfverduk RDN, the Celiac Dietitian, gave us some advice for balancing out your meals to limit post-meal fatigue:

Limit alcohol and caffeine

If youâre having a cocktail at lunch or during the afternoon, consider skipping alcohol use during the day. While it may be tempting to curb the afternoon slump with lots of caffeine, it might backfire on you that night! Limit caffeine during the afternoon hours if you are sensitive to it affecting your sleep habits at night.

Drink more water

Get up and get moving

Try bright light

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Eating The Right Foods For You

When it comes to avoiding big blood sugar spikes and dips, there are some general guidelines you can follow.

However, to make sure youre eating the best foods for you, its important to understand your bodys unique metabolism. And your blood sugar levels are not the only thing involved in shaping it.

Your gut microbiome is the name for the trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in your gut. It plays an important part in your overall health and how your body responds to food.

When the bad bugs in your gut microbiome outnumber the good, it can have a negative effect on how your body manages energy.

At ZOE, we run the largest study of nutrition and the gut microbiome in the world, with over 15,000 participants so far. Our data show that theres no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and that everyone responds differently to foods.

ZOEs at-home test helps you to understand your bodys responses to different foods by analyzing your blood sugar, blood fat, and your gut microbiome.

Based on your results, we give you personalized recommendations of the best foods for you.

Our unpublished research found that 82% of people who closely followed their personalized ZOE nutrition program said they had more energy.

Eat Balanced Meals & Snacks

Sleepy After Eating? Top Reasons Explained by Dr.Berg

Eating causes your blood sugar levels to rise, which can lead to a decrease in energy. After you eat a meal, insulin unlocks sugar into the bloodstream. But you want to make sure that youre eating meals that are more balanced, so you wont have that spike, Museles explains.

To stabilize blood sugar and sustain your energy levels throughout the day, Museles recommends including the following four macronutrients on your plate, and offers suggested sources for each:

  • Healthy fats: nuts, flaxseed, avocados, and salmon
  • Fiber: lentils, beans, and vegetables such as alliums , artichokes and asparagus
  • Complex carbohydrates: whole grains, legumes, fruits, and both starchy and non-starchy vegetables
  • Protein: fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, legumes, dairy products

For snacks, incorporate the same macronutrient balance, just in a smaller quantity. For example, you can try including vegetables, nuts, and in-season fruit, or a protein shake with fruits or veggies and flaxseed or nut butter, such as those used in these afternoon snacks for an energy boost.

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Common Explanations For Post

There are a variety of things that often get blamed for post-meal tiredness. When you eat, it releases hormones, including cholecystokinin, glucagon, and amylin. Your blood sugar levels rise. Your body produces insulin that helps bring the sugar from your meal into energy that your cells can use for other activities.

If find yourself feeling sleepy after a heavy meal, you may blame:

  • The “crash” that comes after eating sugary foods
  • Consumption of tryptophan, including foods like spinach, eggs, soy, fish, turkey, and cheese
  • A potential medical condition, including hypoglycemia, gluten intolerance, anemia, or even celiac disease

However, in reality, your post-meal slump may have nothing to do with your diet at all. You may make the shift to consuming whole grains, opt for high-protein foods, or transition to a high-fat diet, and track your macronutrients carefully, only to discover that post-meal fatigue has nothing to do with the type of food you choose to consume.

Sugar And Energy Storage

So when youre feeling sluggish after a big meal, consider the ease of nutritional access of your meal. Is your body having to break apart complicated sucrose molecules to get down to the delicious and useful glucose center? Are you giving yourself protein to please your orexin? How much energy have you given yourself today?

Is it all hands on deck right after this meal, or do you have the energy readily available to keep yourself operating at a decent capacity while your digestive system does its grim work? All of these should be considerations when youre starting to worry about the excess fat you feel like you may have begun adding on. The kind of fat you want to get rid of when you want to show off your abs, the kind that weighs you down on the scale during your check-ins.

Your fat storage can also be a source of drowsiness in your daily life. If youre not exercising, youre not giving your body the opportunity to store as much energy locally in your skeletal muscles. When you have glycogen stores in your skeletal muscles, youre more capable of easily accessing your energy when you need it.

Also Check: When To Check My Blood Sugar

Is Feeling Tired Normal

Its common to feel tired after eating a meal, especially if its a meal full of carbohydrates and protein.

It takes between 30 to 40 hours to digest a meal, says Zumpano. Your bodys working all the time to digest food. Its already digesting food to begin with, and then you put more food in there. And if its a heavy meal, its just going to bog down your system.

Hormones also play an important role in your digestion.

Some researchers believe that people feel tired after eating because their bodys producing more serotonin, says Zumpano. Serotonin is the chemical that regulates mood and sleep cycles.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in protein-rich foods like chicken, eggs, cheese and fish. Tryptophan helps your body produce serotonin.

Oftentimes, when youre eating a meal rich in carbohydrates and protein, you may feel sleepier because you have an uptake of tryptophan from the protein and then an increase of serotonin, explains Zumpano.

Eating also causes your blood sugar levels to rise, which can lead to a decrease in energy.

After you eat a meal, insulin is the key that unlocks sugar into your bloodstream, says Zumpano. After you eat a meal, your blood sugar rises. Insulin goes into the bloodstream to take the sugar out of the blood and put it in the cells for energy.

If you dont have enough insulin or if you have a rise in blood sugar, it can affect your fatigue level.

How To Prevent Feeling Tired After Eating

Nutrition Myths That Just Won

Whether its the hunter-gatherer genetics or just how our bodies process and digest food, its pretty normal to feel tired after a meal. But in our research and experience, maintaining a steady blood glucose can help you stay energized post-meal better than anything. Heres how you can stay alert:

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Fatigue After Eating Sugar Heres What All You Need To Know

Do you feel exhausted and tired every time you eat an ice cream or a muffin? Read the following article to find out the reasons behind your experience of tiredness after eating sugar.

Do you feel exhausted and tired every time you eat an ice cream or a muffin? Read the following article to find out the reasons behind your experience of tiredness after eating sugar.

We all love sweets and often consume them to satisfy our taste buds. Some of us even get sugar cravings, which no other foods can satisfy. Sweets or any other high sugar content food item, for that matter, can alleviate our mood or so we think. In some people however, it has an adverse effect. Following are the causes, certain accompanying symptoms and preventive measures to be taken to alleviate the condition.

Protein And Carbs Can Make You Sleepy

You’ve likely heard that people get tired after eating on Thanksgiving because of the l-tryptophan in turkey, and there is some truth to that. Particularly, the amino acid l-tryptophan, which is a relaxant found in proteins like poultry, is only activated when eaten alongside carbohydrates.

And, because carbs make your body release serotonin, which is also a relaxant, the combination of the two chemicals can have you napping before you know it.

Combining protein and carbohydrates is notorious for leading to tiredness, more so than combining protein and fat or carbohydrates and fat.

These are combinations that are heavily prevalent in U.S. culture: think of a sandwich, which is meat on bread , for example.

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What Happens To All That Sugar

Your body doesnt just flush out excess sugar. Youve got to use it or you wont lose it. We all understand that adding food to our systems without using it for anything will add weight to our bodies, but what is that mechanism exactly? If you can understand that, you can get to the core of weight loss and low energy in your daily life. Demystifying the processes of your body will allow you to make more informed decisions about your health.

Fat cells are more formally known as adipose tissue, and theyre most easily understood as your bodys savings account. We understand the urge to rid your body of it, but you have to admit they have their place, and their function is incredible.

Fat cells keep your body warm, they create crucial hormones, and they keep you dropping dead and crumbling into dust. Youll never truly be rid of your fat cells, and thats a blessing. You need your fat cells for a plethora of functions inside of your body and in a different world, fat cells were how humans carried energy around when they couldnt guarantee a meal from one day to the next.

Fat cells insulate your body just like insulation in your home or your bedsheets. They create a buffer layer between the inside of your body and the cooler air on the outside of it. Your body needs to maintain a regular temperature to keep itself operating properly.

Sugar And Your Orexin System

Sleepy After You Eat?

The orexin system is made up of a pair of neurons found in the brains hypothalamus region. Both these neurons, dubbed by researchers as OX1R and OX2R act to stimulate the production of a chemical called hypocretin. This chemical stimulates wakefulness and brain activity, as well as regulates our eating habits. When you eat sugar , your blood sugar levels rise which in turn suppresses orexin release leading to reduced activity of this system.

When orexin levels are low, it makes you feel tired. Vice versa, when theyre high, youre more energetic and awake. People with chronically low levels of orexin often suffer from narcolepsy or obesity, since the chemical influences metabolism too .

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Avoid Eating Big Meals

Bigger meals are more likely to make you feel sluggish because your body is working harder to digest that meal, Museles says. Thats not to say that you cant have a larger meal, like at Thanksgiving, for example. But having an awareness that a larger meal will take longer to digest, and that feeling more tired is a normal response, can help alleviate concerns and help you plan accordingly, like making time for a light walk afterward.

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