Your Annual Reminder: Tryptophan Does Not Make You Sleepy

Turkey isn’t even that rich in tryptophan  If you get sleepy tomorrow, it’s because you ate 4000 calories.  An insulin spike may be involved (more about this next week).

But! I did learn some interesting things researching this.  Wikipedia’s entry on food comas says that tryptophan bypasses the blood brain barrier and is converted to seretonin and then melatonin, which makes you sleepy.  It’s two sources refer only to plasma concentration, nothing suggesting tryptophan leads to an acute spike in melatonin (caveat: I only have access to the abstracts).

Meanwhile, webmd believes that protein is the only nutrient Americans get too much of, which suggests to me they don’t understand that sugar, fat, and salt are nutrients, or are idiots.