Food Coma- New Health Disorder?

food coma featured

Yes, indeed. A term like ‘Food Coma’ exists.

In the world of emerging trends on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and likewise, food has always been the nucleus of floating stories in social media. Food, being the paramount of our survival, also defines our culture and traditions. With the boon of transportation and communication we have been able to explore the cuisines across the world.

Hashtags, for instance- foodporn, foodgasm, eathealthy, govegan, eatorganic, green salad and many more have stormed the social media. However, the truth lies somewhere else. With our hard earned money, we hope to eat healthy but our busy schedules don’t allow us to do so. Grabbing a bite while working is a bliss in this superfast world of ours. The moment you realise that there’s a real need for chow time, you pounce on anything served in front until the last scrap on the fork.  Henceforth, a healthy lifestyle becomes a myth in the real scenario. This is where Food Coma exists.

What is Food Coma??

The Merriam-Webster defines it as ‘A colloquial term for the sleepiness or drowsiness that follows a large meal.

Whereas, the Collins Dictionary says, ‘It is the feeling of sleepiness experienced after eating certain types of food, especially carbohydrates.

Food Coma is a slang term for the scientific term ‘Postprandial Somnolence’. It is also sometimes known as after dinner dip, postprandial sleep and the itis (African-American Vernacular English).

Whatever the terms may be, the causes remain the same.

Symptoms that show you are suffering from a food coma

  • Drowsiness/Sleepiness
  • Laziness
  • Lethargy
  • Bloated stomach
  • Gas
  • Getting tired easily
  • Unbuttoning of pants/ loosening of belts

There can be other symptoms depending on the age, gender and lifestyle you follow.


  • While understanding the reasons for food coma, we must dig into the working of our digestive system. The second we start eating, our stomach starts producing digestive juices that break down the food for a smooth digestion. The chemical substances- glucose, amino acids received from the food are collected by the pancreas and the brain respectively. Meanwhile, insulin releases a sleepy chemical named tryptophan which is directed to the brain in order to make the body drowsy for channelizing the complete energy of the body towards the digestion process.
  • High intake of carbohydrates or starchy food such as potatoes, rice dishes, pastas, bread accelerate the release of insulin which makes more tryptophan enter the brain.
  • Suffering from thyroid issues can always make you feel low in energy. This is why you would always look forward to eating as much as you can which unknowingly will make you feel  lethargic.
  • The place where you live or work also can be one of the causes of food coma. If the microorganisms living around or inside you don’t get a healthy environment then the absorption of food can be interfered.
  • A very obvious reason can be allergies to certain food which we are often unaware of. It can lead to an increase in fatigue.
  • Sometimes our body runs short of nutrients such as Vitamins (mainly B12) or some types of iron and fibre. This may lead to craving for food.

Is food coma dangerous?

The answer is – It can be if you are experiencing food coma more often. This can change your eating habits and make you feel fatigued most of the time.

Although if you go through a food coma on festive days or some important occasions, it can be controlled and worked upon as these moments are memorable in our lives.

How can we keep ourselves away from this food coma?

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Source: ArtStation
  • Don’t Overeat-  Never eat your meal as if it is your last meal. Eat small portions of food because our body utilises more energy in digesting the food.
  • Never skip your breakfast-  Everybody doesn’t feel like eating in the morning as many of us don’t have an appetite. Many times, we feel skipping breakfast can help in reducing weight rather it craves you for more food during the lunch. You can always have fruits or yoghurt if you don’t feel like eating in the morning.
  • Drinking water- Intake of water at intervals can increase the metabolism. Water can always keep you dehydrated and drinking water 20-30 mins before the meal can help in filling fast.
  • Eat a balanced diet- Add salads, fruits, complex carbs, and proteins to your menu. You can have a cup of coffee as dessert.
  • Don’t consume too much alcohol- Drinking too much alcohol may lose control over your senses and you won’t mind taking another serving of the dessert. Therefore, unconsciously you would be adding a reason to fall for food coma.
  • Small brisk walk- Going for short brisk walks after your meals can boost up your metabolism. It can help you stay awake  and control digestion.
  • Do the dishes- Instead of sitting or laying down on your bed after a good meal, take the initiative in doing the dishes. Clear the table and collect the leftovers.
  • Get enough sleep- A normal human body requires 8-10 hours of peaceful sleep in order to function efficiently. If you go through any kind of sleep disorder, you are most likely to feel sleepy after your meals. Getting enough sleep everyday will keep you active and energetic.

So, now if you ever feel drowsy after a heavy meal, you know what you are going through.

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Hi, Everyone has to offer something these days. What Neelam Jain wants to offer is something that the readers can connect to. She wants to distinguish her write-ups from what is already there and in the process make herself relatable to the readers. Holding a B.A degree in English, writing and adding words to her thoughts come naturally to her. The love and passion helped her grab professional opportunities with media giant Timesofindia and a quite popular The profession helped her don many hats with many feathers. Writer, Editor, Proof-reader, businesswoman, teacher are few of her overall work profiles and experience.