Next time, think twice before you eat that burger or chips during lunch, as eating a meal particularly high in protein and salt can make us feel more fatigued and causes us to fall into a 'food coma', a new study reveals.
According to researchers, if you have had a particularly huge meal, then you may even fall into a food coma - postprandial somnolence- where all you want to do is lie down and have a snooze. The findings indicated that protein and salt are the causes of the infamous food coma, the reason being that they are "expensive commodities," so our bodies have to work harder to digest them and extract the nutrients.
‘If you have had a particularly huge meal, then you may even fall into a food coma - postprandial somnolence- where all you want to do is lie down and have a snooze.’
The researchers from from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and Florida's Scripps Research Institute found that carbohydrates did not have the same effect, despite various dieticians having previously claimed carbohydrate-rich foods make us sleepy. They used fruit-flies to investigate the neurobiological links between eating and sleep. The study found that sugar actually does not actually contribute to a food coma.
The researchers are yet to discover, however, why sleep helps us digest protein and salt, but it is clear that is what our bodies want to do. "During the food coma, the flies remain still for a certain amount of time and they are much less responsive to any kind of other cues than they would normally be," said study's author Dr. Robert Huber.
"There's clearly something very potent about sleep itself," he added. So, if you want to be on top form this afternoon, it's perhaps wise to opt for a healthy veggie option for lunch, they concluded.