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Is it true that eating turkey meat can make you tired?

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Dean Turcotte
November 20, 2019 7:08PM

The theory that turkey makes you sleepy stems from the fact that turkey contains an amino acid called tryptophan. Our bodies use tryptophan to produce the vitamin B3 or niacin, which is essential to creating serotonin, a neurotransmitter thought to contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness. Serotonin is also the precursor to the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

The truth is that turkey doesn’t contain any more tryptophan than many other meats, and it even contains slightly less than most cheeses. That means it’s unfair to blame your post-dinner coma on turkey alone.

So, why do we specifically associate Thanksgiving dinner with feeling sleepy? Probably because we’re eating many foods high in tryptophan during the course of the evening, and that tryptophan is amplified by the carbs from rolls, potatoes, and other savory starches. Not to mention the fact that overeating gives the body more digestive work to do, thus using more energy.

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FRANZ DOREZA
November 30, 2019 7:47AM
No, they say that eating turkey makes you tired… But that's just nonsense because the same amino acids in turkey are also prevalent in many other foods like cheeses… But it's really more about over eating and possibly drinking a lot of wine… Mine will make you sleepy and most adults will have a glass of wine or some other alcoholic beverage during Thanksgiving… That is more likely to make you sleepy than turkey or cheese.
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Wiki User
December 25, 2009 10:01PM

Yes, turkey meat has an amino acid that is called tryptophan that causes you to feel lethargic after eating it.

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