Brain Health Lifestyle

5 Ways to Combat a Food Coma

It’s Thanksgiving and we all know what that means. We will eat all of the delicious things like turkey, stuffing, and many different types of pies because you can never have too much pie. However, once that Thanksgiving meal is done and you realize how much you actually ate, that’s when it hits you. The food coma has taken over.

The food coma, also known as “postprandial somnolence“, is generally just the state of being extremely drowsy after a big meal. This food coma state tends to hit us about 20 minutes after we’ve eaten a large meal like the typical Thanksgiving dinner we’ve grown up with.

The food coma post-Thanksgiving dinner is something we’ve all come to expect. It’s a result of our digestive system kicking into gear when confronted with the daunting task to process all of that delicious Thanksgiving goodness we’ve just inhaled. However, this means that we are drowsy and, if you are anything like me, you still have stuff that needs to get done. So, how do you combat the food coma that is trying to take over? Below we list the 5 ways to combat the incoming food coma:

1) Start moving. Usually post-Thanksgiving meal, all we want to do is curl up on the couch and sleep our food babies away. However, moving around after eating can be what you need to keep yourself awake. Don’t overthink it though. It could be as simple as encouraging your family to go on a little walk or putting on some music and do a little dance. As long as you get everyone to move past the typical eat and sleep phase, you’ll be okay.

2) Engage in some light yoga. I know what you’re thinking. Really? Yoga? After eating? Psh. However, a little yoga may help with digestion post-Thanksgiving meal and it can be gentle and soothing. For purely relaxing purposes, doing a forward fold or engaging in a child’s pose position may be the best way to go. If you want to go this route, I recommend standing with your legs straight and bend forward until your hands meet your shins or the floor. This move will also be good to stretch out that lower back after sitting for so long.

3) Drink some herbal tea. Is your stomach starting to hurt and do you just not feel like moving? Don’t worry. Drinking tea will help soothe your aching tummy. Tea will also help if you’ve been drinking alcohol or wine during the dinner because it will help get you hydrated again. Mint tea, cinammon tea, and green tea are my top picks for helping with indigestion and nausea.

4) Time for some caffeine. Are you really starting to feel the drowsiness kick in? And do you have way too much that needs to get done? It may be time for some well deserved caffeine. Drink a cup of coffee to feel less tired. It’ll help you stay awake just long enough so that you can get what you need done finished.

5) When all else fails, just give in. Honestly, sometimes it may just be best to listen to your body and give into the food coma. Taking a 30 minute nap after a Thanksgiving meal may be the best remedy for combatting the lethargy that a food coma brings. After waking up from your brief nap, I recommend stretching out a little bit or maybe doing some forward folds while shaking off the residual drowsiness. After that, you should be good to go if you have any chores or plans that need to be tackled. However, if you sleep longer than 30 minutes, you will probably feel like the walking dead when you wake up.

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