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Does Turkey make you Sleepy?

Turkey does have the makings of a natural sedative in i­t, called tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which does produce a documented sleep inducing effect.  The body has to get tryptophan and other essential amino acids from food. Tryptophan helps the body produce B-vitamin which is niacin, and, ­in turn, helps the body produce serotonin.  Serotonin is a chemical that we refer to as a calming agent in the brain and plays a key role in sleep. Some think that if you eat a lot of turkey, your body would produce more serotonin and you would feel calm and want a nap.

­­But nutritionists and other experts say that the tryptophan needs to be taken on an empty stomach and without any other amino acids or protein in order to make you drowsy.   Therefore, most of the research and studies show that if you are tired and sleepy after that holiday dinner with turkey and all of the trimmings, it is probably due to the other foods you are taking in such as desserts and carbohydrates and in most cases alcohol consumption, not primarily the turkey.  If you have any additional questions please go to my website www.myfocusonfitness.com or you may contact Brenda Bark at Focus on Fitness at 480-699-3162.

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