10 causes of a metabolic hangover

A metabolism hangover can make you feel drowsy. Sometimes it reflects your health and fitness levels. But it can also happen due to other problems like eating too much sugar or unhealthy food.

Many people experience a metabolic hangover due to the foods they eat. Your body reacts differently based on your food choices, which can affect your productivity. This makes it difficult to focus for the rest of the day.

Sometimes your metabolism hangover isn’t a result of what you eat. Rather, it could signify a health issue.

While it can be alleviated with some dietary changes, this is not always the case. It may reflect an underlying health issue that needs professional treatment. Understanding the possible causes of a metabolic hangover can help you work through the problem and feel better.

What is a metabolic hangover?

A metabolic hangover is often called a “food coma” because it can make you feel like you need to take a nap right after eating. The scientific term for this is postprandial drowsiness, and experience tells you how hard your body must work to digest food. It usually occurs thirty to sixty minutes after eating.

You may notice this happening when you eat something sweet or have a heavy meal for lunch. It might make you feel good for a while, but suddenly you feel like you need a nap. It’s common, but you don’t have to experience it all the time.

Signs of a metabolic hangover

Experts indicate that hangover signs of metabolism most often occur after lunch. You may notice the following:

  • sudden low energy levels
  • struggling to concentrate
  • lethargy
  • physical exhaustion
  • want to take a nap
  • inexplicable irritability
  • mood changes
  • specific food cravings

How it works

When you eat a meal, your parasympathetic nervous system works to digest the food. Helps produce and release hormones and digestive enzymes, detoxification and stomach acid. The parasympathetic nervous system also stimulates the mechanical agitation of the food you eat.

When these functions don’t work as expected, it can lead to erratic fluctuations in blood sugar and blood pressure. Eating too many carbs or eating too much sugar can cause you to crash after eating, making you feel very tired.

Food coma usually occurs due to a drop in blood pressure after a meal. It means nervous system dysfunction because it means blood is flooding the vascular system of the digestive tract. This problem causes fatigue, dizziness, and sometimes fainting if you cannot lie down.

Although increased blood flow to your digestive tract is to be expected immediately after meals, your nervous system generally remains in balance. However, when a metabolic hangover occurs, the system cannot keep up with the blood flow.

Ten Causes of a Metabolic Hangover

The foods you eat can contribute to a metabolic hangover, but that’s not always the case. Understanding all possible causes can help you identify what makes you feel this way.

1 – Your digestive system uses a lot of energy

You may feel sluggish after eating because your digestive system is working harder. Your small and large intestines use a lot of energy to burn calories.

If your food contains too many calories, it can cause your digestive system to deplete your body of energy. The focus of your body’s energy shifts to the digestive system and the rest of your body relaxes.

It makes you feel drowsy and unable to concentrate on your tasks. Spicy foods can also cause this problem. Your body uses more energy than usual to digest spicy food.

2 – Eating large amounts of carbohydrates

Eating rice, potatoes or bread for lunch can make you tired afterwards. The high amounts of carbohydrates high glycemic index triggers the release of too much insulin. Your body will store the sugar as glycogen, which will cause your blood sugar to drop.

3 – Lack of nutrients

Nutrient deficiency can make it harder for your body to process the food you eat. If your body can’t process nutrients from food, you won’t get energy from it, making you feel drowsy after eating. You may notice undigested food in your stool if that is a problem.

4 – Diseases or Disorders with Low Blood Pressure

Some disorders or illnesses can make you feel tired after a meal, including Parkinson’s disease. Low blood pressure and drowsiness after meals are sometimes early signs of the disease. Occurs before tremors, changes in gait, and other effects.

Low blood pressure and drowsiness after meals are indicators of neurological stress. This signifies changes in dopamine function and indicates increased oxidative inflammation.

Other disorders can cause low blood pressure and make you feel sluggish after eating, including:

  • adrenal insufficiency
  • diastolic heart failure
  • postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
  • multiple sclerosis
  • other disorders of the autonomic nervous system

Illnesses and disorders that cause low blood pressure can make you feel tired after eating because the work of digestion puts a strain on your system. Your blood pressure is already low and digestion leads to debilitating fatigue.

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5 – Eat sugar

Your body reacts to what you eat whether it’s healthy or not. If you eat too many sweets, chances are you’ll feel tired afterwards. Too much sugar activates serotonin, making you feel drowsy and like you can’t keep your eyes open.

6 – Food allergies or intolerances

You may have food allergies or intolerances if you feel tired after eating specific foods. Other symptoms you may notice include diarrhea, constipation, and allergic reactions. Try to avoid foods that you think are causing your symptoms and see if you have more energy after meals.

7 – Not getting enough exercise

If you sit most of the day or have an idle job, it can drain your energy. Physical activity can make you feel more energetic, even after heavy meals.

8 – Being very stressed

Being overly stressed can make you feel tired after eating. When you are already mentally and emotionally exhausted by stress, it can drain your energy.

So when your body starts digesting a meal, you feel even more exhausted. It leads you to want to take a nap and struggle to focus.

9 – Diabetes

If you have diabetes, your body doesn’t produce insulin properly, which gets in the way of regulating blood sugar levels. When not properly regulated, it is not stored as glycogen or converted to glucose. This situation can increase the level of sugar in the blood, causing fatigue and other problems, such as headache and dizziness.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can also cause a drop in blood pressure after meals due to autonomic nervous system damage. Injury can occur due to excessive sugar consumption or autoimmune inflammation.

10 – Dumping Syndrome

Dumping syndrome can occur after gastric bypass surgery due to changes in bowel motility. It can also occur without surgery, but is not as common.

Dumping syndrome causes rapid movement of food from the stomach into the small intestine. When this happens, it causes a sudden drop in blood sugar, leading to fatigue. You may also feel weak or pass out, and it may also cause diarrhea.

How to avoid a metabolic hangover

If you have frequent metabolic hangovers, you can improve the situation. You don’t have to live with that feeling every day, and making some changes can help.

Address your eating habits

Evaluating and addressing your eating habits is one of the best things you can do to avoid a metabolic hangover. For starters, meal size can make a difference.

If you eat large portions of unhealthy foods, you are more likely to feel tired. Reduce the serving size of your food if healthy options aren’t available.

When you eat healthy food, you are less likely to feel tired afterward and may eat more. If you want a hearty meal, try to choose nutritious options that don’t contain carbs or sugar.

Consider the snacks you eat because many snacks are full of sugar and carbs, which contribute to your fatigue. Some healthy meal and snack options that can help you avoid feeling tired after eating include:

  • vegetable
  • fruits
  • whole grain bread, pasta, crackers and brown rice
  • eggs
  • chicken breasts
  • chickpea
  • tofu
  • tuna
  • Turkey breast
  • mushrooms

Drinking more water helps metabolism

You might want an alcoholic drink or coffee, but water is the best option. Alcohol is not a good idea because it is a sedative and makes you feel more tired than before.

Coffee is known to keep you awake, but it can do the opposite. It blocks adenosine, a chemical that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Also, putting sugar in your coffee can make you go down after enjoying the cup.

On the other hand, water will keep you hydrated, helping you feel more alert throughout the day. Dehydration can make you feel tired, so choosing water as your beverage of choice can make all the difference.

stay active

Staying active during the day promotes blood flow, preventing you from getting tired. Regular exercise is the best option, but tweaking your day can also help. Consider the following ideas:

  • walk to and from work
  • use the stairs instead of the elevators
  • stretch at noon after sitting for a while
  • doing jumping jacks in her office

Final thoughts on the causes of a metabolic hangover

Experiencing a metabolic hangover can interfere with your productivity and well-being. Understanding the possible causes can help you address the issue and start to feel better.

Sometimes feeling better and avoiding a food coma just requires a few changes to your diet. However, it could come from an illness, disorder, or other health condition. If changing your diet doesn’t help, see a professional for advice and possible treatment options.

For Sara Barkley. Article in English

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