After the last sliver of pumpkin pie has been claimed, and the winner of the National Dog Show has been crowned, it's Thanksgiving tradition to fall on the nearest sofa and succumb to a food coma. Also known as "postprandial somnolence," the post-feast sleepies tend to hit around 20 minutes after eating a large meal.
Most of the time, a Thanksgiving food coma is as inevitable as the big meal itself. That said, if you made plans to see a movie with your high school pals after Thanksgiving dinner, there are a few strategies you can try to feel more alert and less vegetative. First, know where the sluggishness comes from: Tradition aside, it doesn't have anything to do with tryptophan in turkey, and instead is likely a byproduct of hormonal cues and digestive biology involved in processing large amounts of food.