It’s a common occurrence for most of us to fall into a food coma – that state of semi-euphoric daze mixed with the slight discomfort of an overstuffed stomach – associated with overeating or binging during mealtimes. Scientists and nutritionists have many explanations for this but it’s mainly due to the secretion of certain hormones in our body as it digests the food, and this affects bodily functions like blood flow. Simply put: The more food ( and also the type of food) your body is being fed with, the harder it needs to “work” to digest it, hence causing you to feel tired, sleepy or even lethargic after the whole process.
So, what can you do to lessen the effects of food coma when it hits you, or to try and avoid it altogether? Here are some simple tips:
1. DRINK WATER before and during your meal. A glass of water before any meal helps you pace yourself, and it also aids in flushing out the toxins in your body and promotes digestion. So make sure to keep refilling your glass of water during your meal.
2. WATCH WHAT YOU EAT Some types of food, especially those high in sugar and carbohydrates, can cause food coma more than other types. Always try to have a balanced intake and lessen your portions of sweet stuff and carbs-heavy food. This is especially important when you are at a buffet!
3. CHEW SLOWLY An effective way to help your body digest the food properly – simply eat slower. When faced with a table of yummy fare, we tend to dig in with zeal and want to try everything at once. Pace yourself and slow down to avoid food coma.
4. SIP A CUP OF GREEN TEA When food coma really hits, try a cup of hot green tea after the meal as it contains antioxidants like polyphenols and catechins – making it a great digestive stimulant. It’s known to make people feel better after heavy eating.
5. BEND FORWARD Try this simple exercise which you can do at your work desk if food coma hits. Bend over forward, till your head is at your heart level, every few minutes – this helps promote the flow of blood and oxygen to your head – do this until the drowsiness is improved. Taking a few deep breaths and going for a short walk can help too.