Food coma, or medically known as postprandial somnolence, happens after eating a large meal that stimulates activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, which tells your body to slow down and digest.
The more food you consume, the more the parasympathetic nervous system fires up, causing your body to focus the bulk of its energy on digestion. That is also why your body gets chilly after eating, the blood flows more in the core of your body and less in your extremities.
As food breaks down into glucose, the simplest form of sugar your body uses as fuel, you will experience a surge in blood sugar. To counter this spike, your body releases the hormone insulin. Insulin helps to reduce glucose in the blood and returns levels to normal. The increase in insulin also causes your brain to produce more serotonin and melatonin, two neurotransmitters that can leave you feeling drowsy.
How can you counter-balance this effect and fight off the food coma?
- Chew slower & more thoroughly to aid the body in the digestive process.
- Lay on your left side after consuming a large meal to help the stomach do its duties.
- Drink herbal tea or lemon water 20-30 minutes after the meal
- Balance high carbohydrate meals with healthy fat to slow down the glucose spike.
- Eat lighter the next meal or next day to help the liver clear out the extra glucose.
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