You are here

The Real Reason You Want to Nap After Thanksgiving Dinner

The tryptophan in turkey may not be the cause of your post-meal food coma.

For as long as anyone can remember, turkey has gotten the blame for our post-Thanksgiving nap. But it turns out, the bird may not be guilty after all.  The all too familiar “food coma” we experience is due to the large quantities of food in general. That includes turkey, but also stuffing, potatoes, and pie, according to research from the Loyola University Health System.

That means tryptophan, the essential amino acid protein building block, is off the hook. 

Kim Sasso, a registered and licensed dietitian at Loyola University Health System, said in a press release: "Because of transport and breakdown, not enough tryptophan will reach the brain to cause sleepiness after a holiday meal. Likely, the stressful hustle and bustle of the holiday, travel schedules, alcohol indulgence and cooking tasks will contribute more to fatigue than a few slices of turkey."

Plus, turkey doesn’t really have exorbitantly high levels of the amino acid when you compare it to other common foods, like soybeans, eggs, and even chicken.

So, enjoy your turkey on Thanksgiving in a moderate portion and you won't need the nap. That said, naps are actually pretty great for you. Here are 20 reasons you should take one after Thanksgiving dinner, or really any time. 

Just be sure you get back on the wagon come Friday. Here are the do-anywhere routines you need.



Want more Men's Fitness?

Sign Up for our newsletters now.