Intro: Why Do I Feel Tired After Eating?

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Adrenal Health, Chronic Fatigue, Digestion, Food, Health and Lifestyle, Increasing Energy, Stress | 0 comments

Intro:  Why Do I Feel Tired After Eating?

After eating a meal, you expect to feel energized and ready to be active. Then why is it that many people feel tired and ready for bed after eating food? To some extent, digesting food takes energy. If you are regularly tired after eating meals, however, it may be time to ask your body what it’s trying to tell you.

“Food fatigue” is becoming more common as people’s digestive and adrenal systems are working overtime to not only provide energy for activity, but also to keep up with physical and mental-emotional stress. What is the adrenal system? The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and provide us the stress-released hormone called cortisol.

Cortisol raises the body’s blood sugar to give you enough energy to deal with stress. When stress keeps happening repeatedly though, cortisol changes how the body normally controls blood sugar.

What does this mean? Your blood sugar (and energy levels) will be more of a roller coaster, instead of experiencing the nice and gradual high-to-low curve it should have from morning to night. On top of that, stress usually makes people tired in the long run and wanting to eat and drink certain things in excess to replenish lacking energy.

What are examples of these foods and drinks? Think about your intake of coffee, sweets, sodas, and simple carbohydrates (such as cookies or pastries) when you are stressed. Does it increase? These foods break down very quickly in the body and lead to a euphoric high followed by a physical and mental-emotional crash. In addition, they put a burden on the digestive system and make it work more slowly and sluggishly.

To find out why you may be feeling tired after eating, it’s helpful to ask the W’s of your eating habits:

  • When are you eating?  Skipping meals or waiting too long before eating can upset blood sugar control and make you feel tired when you do eat.
  • What are you eating?  It could be that stress is distracting you from real food by asking for caffeine, sugar, and refined carbohydrates instead.
  • Why are you eating?  Sometimes eating ends up being less for nourishment and more to get relief from stress.
  • Where are you eating?  Jetting out the door and trying to gulp down breakfast between red lights on the road doesn’t support healthy digestion.
  • Who are you eating with?  Everyone is different, and sometimes being around certain environments or people can change the way you eat or drink–not necessarily in a positive direction.

In the next several articles, we’ll explore each of these questions separately to investigate more in-depth how food can actually lead to fatigue rather than energy.



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