Food Coma - This is a simple term given to the scientific name postprandial somnolence in 2014 to make it understandable to the people who are not from the medical background. 

In simple words, I would say it is a state of sleep or extreme lethargy induced by the consumption of a large amount of food

People always come to me asking that they feel really heavy and sleepy after having heavy meals, especially after lunch. I will explain what is it about the food which makes us sleepy- Going the scientific way, there is a hormone called Gastrin, produced by the stomach for the promotion of digestive juices while we eat. 

When we eat something we love or is rich in taste like bhaturas, poori, chocolates etc., our body produces happy hormones. After many types of research, the relation between the food and the Food Coma (sleepiness) has made its significance. 

The foods which are either rich on fats or carbohydrates cause sleepiness. But it does not happen when a meal is rich in protein or has balanced nutrients in it. This is because the food rich in carbohydrates release the sugar into the blood quickly and cause an increase in insulin that promotes absorption. Insulin also allows the entry of a special amino acid called tryptophan into the brain which gets converted into another chemical and is the cause of drowsiness or calmness of the body. And if we consume a protein rich meal, it will also have a stimulant effect when the amino acid enters the brain.

Here are some tips, with which one can avoid Food Coma after meals:

  • Be moderately active after having the main meal of the day. This will help in the promotion of blood sugar control. Avoid taking a nap or sitting idle.
  • Watch your portion size. Do not overeat. Take small meals, more times a day. Eating in big size all together will also cause sleepiness and will add weight.
  • One must have a balanced meal. It will help in avoiding sleepiness and managing weight at the same time. Have protein and carbohydrate in one-to-two proportion.  Include plant or marine based fats rather than animal based saturated fat in your meal.
  • Make sure you have all the micronutrients and minerals in your daily diet including vegetables, salads, and fruits.

Start taking care of you and eating a right diet as this will maintain your metabolism and you won’t gain weight, which is the major side effect of Food Coma.