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Does Turkey Make You Sleepy?
Indiana Ag Connection - 11/23/2022

A video featuring Greg Henderson, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue University's College of Health and Human Sciences, has been uploaded to the AP Video Hub. In the video, he goes over the science behind the drowsiness people may feel after Thanksgiving dinner. This video can be found at https://bit.ly/3XCFZSn.

Henderson says that there is a common idea that eating turkey makes you sleepy thanks to tryptophan, a chemical compound tied to sleep. He explains that nutrition scientists do not believe that tryptophan is the reason people feel drowsy after a big meal.

Henderson points out that turkey and chicken contain the same amount of tryptophan, so it is unlikely that eating turkey would make you sleepier than eating any other protein. Instead, he says that consuming large amounts of food and drinking alcohol are more likely to contribute to feelings of drowsiness.

To fight this "food coma" effect, Henderson suggests taking a walk outdoors or engaging in fun conversations and activities with loved ones.


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