Do you know this? After a meal, you want to relax and throw yourself on the couch. You feel flabby, as if eating is a very strenuous activity. But we actually want to take in energy through eating and not lose it, right? So why do we feel so tired after eating?
Before I go into what the reasons for this are and how you can overcome food fatigue, I would like to take a trip into my personal history and my experiences with the topic.
Maybe you feel the same way I do..
I myself accepted the state of tiredness after eating for a long time without being very aware of it. It was just normal, I did not know any other way. So I did not really notice it either. But then, about a year and a half ago, I became aware through a post on Instagram that many people probably feel the same way. And that it doesn't have to be us. That it could be a sign of bad or unhealthy diet. I didn't change my diet at once, but I kept this new information in mind.
In the following weeks and months I started to deal more and more with nutrition, food and its effects on our body. I paid more attention to eating less sugar and more unprocessed food. And I tried to drink more water again. I was simply curious if these changes had an effect on my body and my well-being, because on the internet even the smallest changes seemed to have a big impact on some people. At first I thought to myself: "As if what I eat can have such a big effect on my mood and body". But I wanted to try it anyway.
What has changed?
After only a few days I noticed that I felt more energetic and balanced. I felt well cared for, my skin was glowing, and not infrequently I received comments from those around me about how healthy and fresh I looked - and that I was hardly tired after eating. At first I didn't believe what a difference a slightly different diet could make, and I wondered why I hadn't started eating earlier. Then I thought about how many other people must be feeling tired and weak after eating. And that makes me want to write a little post about it today.
Today it is the most logical thing in the world to me that body, mind and food are so closely linked. What we ingest is processed or stored in our inner being. So in a sense we really are what we eat.
Why do I feel tired after eating?
In itself, tiredness after eating is a completely natural reaction of the body. Digestion costs the body energy, and more blood is directed to the digestive organs, as it is needed, for example, to absorb and remove nutrients. We then lack this blood in other parts of the body. Our brain is thus supplied with less oxygen - and we get tired.
Especially simple carbohydrates, sugar and therefore most sweets also lead to tiredness. They rapidly increase the blood sugar level, which causes us to experience a "waking kick". The body then releases more insulin in response to this. The insulin promotes the influx of sugar into the body's cells, causing the blood sugar level to drop again. As a result, the brain is undersupplied and what follows is fatigue.
The amino acid tryptophane also leads to nutritional fatigue. Especially eggs, meat and fish contain tryptophan. It reaches the brain via a special transport system through the blood and is converted into serotonin. Serotonin makes us feel happy - but also a little sleepy and flabby.
What can I do about tiredness after eating?
- Although the "energy low" after eating is natural, it can be minimized and varies depending on what we eat. The harder the food is to digest, the more tired we feel. Especially fat and simple carbohydrates take a long time to be digested. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, which are contained in vegetables, rice and wholemeal bread, allow the blood sugar level to rise evenly and thus ensure that it does not fall rapidly.
- In addition, one should not eat too much. The more food you eat, the more your body has to digest and the more tired you feel.
- A lack of fluid also makes you tired, because the body then transports less blood to the brain. Therefore, it helps to drink plenty of fluids - something you should be aware of anyway.
- Even fresh air can help a lot! It supplies our brain with oxygen. This can be combined well with a short walk. Exercise supports digestion. But everyday movements also help, e.g. walking up stairs or taking out the rubbish.
- But rest in the form of a nap also helps. You should only take care not to sleep for more than 15 minutes, because then your circulation drops off considerably.
- So if you are tired after eating, a walk or a short nap is great - especially after a particularly rich meal
What helps you most to feel less tired after eating? Tell me about your experiences and tips in the comments!
If you would like to learn more about healthy eating, mindfulness or sustainability, take a look here .