A person feels sleepy after eating carbohydrates because carbs make tryptophan and serotonin more accessible to the brain, according to WebMD. Simple carbohydrates can also make a person feel sleepy, explains Brian Willett on the Jillian Michaels website.Know More
Tryptophan comes from proteins found in certain foods. When it reaches the brain, it is converted to serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter. Serotonin is then converted to melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone released by the pineal gland at night, which regulates sleep and increases drowsiness, notes the National Sleep Foundation. Foods that contain tryptophan include protein-rich and starchy foods, such as rice, potatoes, poultry, turkey, game meat, eggs, seaweed, soy protein, milk and spinach.
Simple carbohydrates can increase sleepiness because the carbs are absorbed by the body quickly, which causes sugar levels to rise and drop rapidly. The quick absorption may make a person feel energized for a little while but the energy does not last a long time and is generally followed by fatigue, according to Willett. Types of simple carbohydrates include many processed or refined foods, such as candy, soda, sugary cereals, pastries with high sugar and juices with sugar. Eating protein with simple carbohydrates prevents the quick absorption that causes the energy crash.Learn More
It is a commonly held belief that the L-tryptophan contained in turkey makes a person sleepy. However, research has shown that sleepiness after eating a holiday meal is more likely due to overindulgence, and is exacerbated by alcohol consumption.Full Answer >
Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars that are used by the body for energy. As carbohydrates are eaten, the digestive tract breaks them down into monosaccharide units, or glucose. The glucose enters the bloodstream and travels first to the brain, which runs entirely on energy from glucose.Full Answer >
Carbohydrates consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Carbohydrates supply the body with a source of energy and are the building blocks of cellulose and glycogen. They also combine with other molecules to form DNA, RNA, glycolipids, glycoproteins and ATP.Full Answer >
Lentils supply a significant amount of carbohydrates; a 1/2 cup serving of cooked lentils provides 20 grams, which the body uses for energy. Lentils are also high in dietary fiber, a complex carbohydrate. One serving has 8 grams; most of it is soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol levels.Full Answer >