Every Thanksgiving, the rumor goes around that eating too much turkey will make you tired. While there is tryptophan in turkey, it seems that the bird gets an especially sleepy wrap. But is every American’s favorite meal really forcing you to hit the botanical latex mattress harder on Thanksgiving night? While most of us role our eyes and continue chowing down, when we hear this theory, it made us wonder if there was actually any truth to this old wives tale, and what you can do to stay awake this Thanksgiving.
Tryptophan is one of 20 naturally occurring amino acids—the building blocks of proteins. Because the body is unable to manufacture tryptophan on its own, it must be obtained from food protein. Turkey is a great source of this essential acid, but it is not unique: many meats and other protein products pack comparable amounts.
Consuming tryptophan-rich foods may cause blood levels of the amino acid to rise. But not enough tryptophan will reach the brain to have a sedative affect. Tryptophan’s tiring effects only work on empty stomachs (which are very rare to find in America on Thanksgiving day!)
How to Avoid the Drowse This Thanksgiving
Here are some tips to staying awake this Thanksgiving, despite the many alluring temptations that may yawning before the start of the Turkey Bowl.
Have a healthy and light breakfast: Starting your Thanksgiving morning off with a light and healthy breakfast of cereal or yogurt will give you some much needed vitamins and nutrients to have you prepare for your big day ahead.
Don’t Stress! Holidays can be a very stressful time. Cooking and cleaning for all your guests and dealing with the in laws can stress anyone out. We all know that stress can be exhausting. Try to do a little yoga in bed before descending into Turkey Day madness!
While the turkey’s cooking, exercise! Go for a walk in the morning, before all your company comes. Not only will it help to clear your mind and de-stress you, but it will give your body a little push of metabolism and you’ll feel less guilty about all the yummy food you eat later on!
Space out the food & drink: While it’s hard to not eat in all one sitting, sometimes, just spacing out your food throughout the day can be a saving grace. Taking breaks in between eating to throw around the football outside, or watch a little bit of the parade can help you stay refreshed all day. Also, if you can, try not to drink too much wine with dinner. Many experts have found that its actually the excessive alcohol that people drink on Thanksgiving that makes them super tired!
Most of all, don’t forget to have fun. This is a day to be thankful of all the loved ones in your life, and laughter is always the best medicine!