Verify: Does eating turkey make you sleepy?

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is no doubt the meal. Many of us go head first into huge spreads that include mashed potatoes, pies and of course turkey. But it's the turkey that gets a lot of the blame when it comes to us falling into that food com

AUSTIN - One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is no doubt the meal.

Many of us go head first into huge spreads that include mashed potatoes, pies and of course turkey. But it's the turkey that gets a lot of the blame when it comes to us falling into that food coma that follows.

So we wanted to verify if its really the turkey to blame for us getting so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal.

"It's because everybody has heard the myth that tryptophan in turkeys make you sleepy," said Dr. Monica Meadows.

Dr. Meadows is the director of Coordinated Programs In Dietetics at The University of Texas at Austin. She teaches International Nutrition, Nutrition Education & Counseling, Nutrition Through the Life Cycle and Introductory Nutrition. She also instructs classes for the Coordinated Program in Dietetics and supervises students in their hospital dietetics rotations.

"Turkeys get a bit of a bad rap around Thanksgiving. It's because everybody has heard the myth that tryptophan in turkeys make you sleepy, but in truth there are a lot of foods that have tryptophan," said Dr. Meadows. 

Like cheddar cheese, other proteins, chicken or peanuts.

As for why you feel so sleepy after you eat at Thanksgiving, Dr. Meadows said it's basically eating so much of all the other things on your plate.

"So the potatoes, the pie, the stuffing, the sweet potatoes with all their nice marshmallows, plus the wine and other alcoholic beverages you're having," Dr. Meadows said.

And that's verified.

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