Friday, 24 March 2017

30 Day Cowlean Challenge, Day Five: Why We Get Food Comas

Hi guys,

Weigh-in: 204.4 lbs
Calories: 3631 kcals (including 45 minutes of heavy lifting)

More calories, lower weigh-in; is your faith in calories starting to slip further? I’m back on the throne, spewing good vibes yet again, with a belly full of pork loin and sauted kale to back it up. All of that was cooked in butter, of course...

Another big meal yesterday provided the inspiration for today’s post. I was wondering to myself, why is it that we feel sleepy after eating? You might know this informally as a “food coma”, but it’s technical name is postprandial somnolence.

One of the mechanisms through which this occurs is:
  1. You eat a meal which stimulates insulin release
  2. Insulin increases uptake of certain amino acids from the blood into your muscles
  3. Because of this, there is now a higher concentration (proportionally) of tryptophan in your blood
  4. Tryptophan passes with higher frequency through the blood-brain barrier
  5. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin and then melatonin (the sleepy hormone). Voila!

So it made me think, if we eat food which does not stimulate much insulin release, will be feel less tired after eating? It seemed like a reasonable assertion; less carbs, less insulin, lower tryptophan concentration.

On the other hand, eating adequate protein causes enough insulin response to get an anabolic stimulus (this is for the super nerds out there - C); so would it withdraw amino acids at nearly the same rate? I had a dig around and found [this study], which shows meal composition did not have an effect on postprandial somnolence, although, I could not get access to the full article and commonly what’s described as low carb high fat in studies isn’t as low carb or high fat as people practice.

So back to the drawing board then. I’m off to have a nap, shower, and beautify myself for a night on the town.

Until tomorrow,

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