Pupillary Pathways

Food Coma? The Truth about Tryptophan on Thanksgiving

Posted by Amanda Dexter on Nov 26, 2015 8:00:00 AM

You’ve just finished a nice big plate of juicy turkey, flavorful stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet homemade cranberry sauce, and deliciously spiced pumpkin pie, all washed down with a hearty glass of Pinot Noir.

As you are helping your mother clean up the kitchen, while continuing to engage in conversation with your aunts and uncles you haven’t seen in a while, you start to feel a bit sleepy. Your cousin makes a joke about how everyone is about to fall into a food coma because of all the tryptophan that was eaten, but you let him know that this is a myth. Other family members side with him because that’s something that they have heard for years. 

So who is correct? Is the tryptophan on thanksgiving in the turkey really to blame for tiredness after dinner? Is there truth to the tryptophan theory, or is it really a myth?

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Topics: Holidays