November 26, 2008

Tryptophan Doesn’t Make You Tired, It’s All Those Carbs

I stumbled onto this little tidbit from HowStuffWorks. Basically, it says that while tryptophan (an amino acid not naturally found in the human body) can act as a “calming agent” and is present in turkey, that’s not why you feel like taking a long winter’s nap after your third drumstick. “Most likely, it’s the whole traditional Thanksgiving meal that can produce that after-dinner lethargy.”

Why? All those carbs. Bread. Pie. Potatoes. Mmmmm… potatoes…

Oh, and liquor. That’ll help too.

Another amusing fact that I didn’t know: tryptophan actually leads to the production of serotonin – the same stuff found in antidepressants like Zoloft and Lexapro (I know I’m oversimplifying, this ain’t WebMD, folks). The funny part is that in 1990, the Food and Drug Administration actually had to ban tryptophan supplements. It’s not funny if people were harmed by taking something they shouldn’t have, it’s just funny to think about, you know, turkey pills.

Source: HowStuffWorks

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