Why Am I Always Exhausted After Eating?

Published on March 9th, 2023

Last updated on March 9th, 2023

Have you just been ready to move mountains but felt exhausted after eating? It is quite real because food can cause fatigue. This phenomenon has the name “food coma.” And it can appear through:

  • Eating a lot of food. Since the body needs energy for its digestion, it lowers your activity;
  • Consumption of carbohydrate products with a high glycemic index. After all, they increase the level of sugar in the blood;
  • Eating a variety of foods at one time. The body can not digest it quickly, so low energy after eating.

Digesting food is hard work for our bodies. As soon as food enters the stomach, many organs and systems come into play. Their job is to digest food, select the necessary elements and deliver it to the concert areas of your body. All this requires a lot of energy. So, a person can be exhausted after eating. Besides, such a feeling can also be due to insulin. When you eat, insulin levels spike to ensure your blood sugar is regular. And when this process is ready, insulin levels drop, which can cause of fatigue.

What Causes Fatigue After Eating?

If you sometimes want to lie down after dinner, nothing is wrong with that. But if you feel extremely tired after eating, this is a reason to look for the cause more carefully. Usually, a person should feel cheerful after food. After all, it gives the body the necessary energy. But sometimes, after a heavy lunch, lethargy and drowsiness appear. It can be due to the body’s efforts to digest the incoming food. 

But note that afternoon fatigue should not be long and constant. If this feeling occurs often, consider the reason for it. Feeling bad after eating can be a consequence of improper nutrition. Or it can signalize about serious health problems. Extra symptoms can even go with such tiredness after eating. Among them are lack of physical strength, dizziness, and changes in blood pressure. But why does this happen to our bodies after eating? Read the following reasons:

1. Circadian Rhythms

Low energy after eating occurs at lunchtime but not after breakfast or dinner. It happens through circadian rhythms. It is they who cause fluctuations in the level of blood pressure. And different hormones fluctuate throughout the day. Closer to 1-3 p.m., a person becomes drowsy. Sleepiness appears even if you skip lunch. But after eating, you want to sleep precisely harder. Thus, your fatigue can manifest exactly because of such a physiological feature.

2. Lots Of Tryptophan

Eating foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan can cause a feeling of exhaustion. It happens significantly often a few hours after leaving the table. Why? Tryptophan stimulates the production of serotonin and melatonin in the body. They are the sleep hormones. Thus, you feel sleepy as soon as tryptophan exceeds its bridge in the body. Accordingly, this leads to a loss of physical strength and tiredness.

3. Overeating

Remember how you ate on holiday at a big table until you had to tug on a fly to open it? How did you feel after that? Probably you felt weak and tired after eating. And all because the more you eat, the more energy your body needs to digest. So, if you habitually overeat once a day, it will not have good consequences. After all, the body does not have the super ability to digest food in seconds. And when your stomach gets overeating, you are exhausted after such dense eating. Therefore, reduce the size of portions and eat foods rich in protein to avoid this.

4. The Rate Of Food Consumption

It takes time for the brain to send a satiety signal to the stomach. So, the food consumption rate plays a role in determining the satiety level. A study shows that people who consume food more quickly have a larger appetite. Accordingly, they eat 25% more than those who consume less food. And the more food you have in your body, the more energy your stomach takes. It is partly due to the hunger hormone, which plays a role in appetite regulation. When you eat too fast, the brain does not have time to send signals, and hormones regulate this process. Accordingly, you feel weak and tired after eating.

5. Diseases

Diabetes, food intolerances, and allergies can cause a decrease in energy after eating. If a person with type 1 or type 2 diabetes feels tired after eating, this can be a symptom of hyperglycemia. It is high blood sugar. This condition worsens if insulin levels are low to transport sugar. Food intolerances and allergies can affect digestion or other body functions. When you eat food that your body perceives as foreign, the immune system fights hard against it. And as a result, you feel extremely tired after eating.

6. Alcohol

Visible weariness is even more noticeable if you drink alcohol while eating. It suppresses the nervous system and causes drowsiness. After intoxication, getting enough sleep and replenishing energy reserves is usually impossible. Alcohol stimulates the release of adrenaline. And this hormone instantly mobilizes the body. About 20% of ingested alcohol absorbs in the stomach and about 80% in the small intestine. Thus, when you consume it with food, alcohol affects the body faster. It also delays food digestion, leading to tiredness after eating.

7. Hidden Food Intolerance

Food intolerance or food allergy has an association with unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. It can be stomach cramps or diarrhea. But sometimes, food intolerance manifests itself in the form of drowsiness. And a person can not even suspect it.

For example, if you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, you can be exhausted after eating gluten-containing products. Because they can cause an allergic reaction. Besides, it limits your body’s ability to get enough calories from food.

8. Drinking Coffee In The Morning

Your morning cup of coffee is invigorating, but not for long. The stimulant effects of caffeine usually have a half-life. It happens from 1 to 5 p.m. after it enters your body. So, the impact of coffee drunk at 8 a.m. will end just in time for the lunch break. Thus, feeling weak and tired after eating can not be due to eating lunch. But it can be due to drinking coffee in the morning.

How To Stop Being Exhausted After Eating?

You can stop exhaustion thanks to proper nutrition and sound sleep. To a greater or lesser extent, we all feel tired after eating. Because the body takes energy from you to digest even the smallest snacks. But feeling extremely tired after eating is an entirely different feeling. It becomes overwhelming and is not relieved by sleep and rest.

In most cases, people turn to coffee to cheer up. But coffee is a simulator that has the other side of the effect. It also causes fatigue after consuming something. Of course, no products will give you 100 percent energy. But there is a balance and diet in food that you should follow to avoid such problems. If you eat healthy food and do not overeat, your body will not take much energy from you. Accordingly, you will not be afraid of feeling tired after eating. But this is not all the advice. To learn more about them, keep a list of practical tips for this:

1. Drink Enough Water

Did you overeat at lunch? Is it because you were too hungry? You can confuse the feeling of hunger with the feeling of thirst. It mainly refers to those who do not drink the daily water norm. Because of this, you can lack fluid in your body. Accordingly, the body will need it more and more. But over time, it becomes a feeling of hunger, not thirst. Thus, to not overeat because of this, drink enough water:

  • On average, you should drink 2 liters per day;
  • But if you are not used to such a quantity, it is better to do it gradually;
  • Add a glass of water more every day to your diet;
  • When the fluid in the body comes into balance, the feeling of tiredness after eating will bother you less.

2. Use Liquid Drop Supplements

Vitamins are necessary for the ordinary system of many processes in the body. Their deficiency leads to hypovitaminosis. One of the symptoms of it is high drowsiness. So, the ideal solution is liquid supplements to prevent yourself from such a state. Thanks to its rich content of natural ingredients, it will invigorate and heal you. But their effect also depends on their purpose. Such supplements have two types:

  • Immunity

Healthy immunity is the key to healthy nutrition. The stomach can not properly digest food if some organs do not work. So, as a result, it can lead to tiredness after eating. To prevent this from happening, support your body with these drops. Vitamin C and antioxidants will give you strength, health, and vitality.

  • Happy Mind

Want to reduce stress and improve your mental health? These vitamins are just for you. The high content of adaptogens regulates brain functions and induces relaxation. Accordingly, no stress bothers you, and you do not feel anxious. And when you are not in this state, you do not frequently desire to eat, as with anxiety. Thus, you can avoid low energy after eating thanks to these drops.

3. Walk In The Fresh Air

A short walk outside can do wonders after dinner. Fresh air and exercise provide your brain with plenty of oxygen. And oxygen, in turn, stimulates the brain to work better and fills you with strength.

  • If you can’t go outside, open a window and take a deep breath. Or you can do 20 squats;
  • It will not take long and will pump up your blood with oxygen;
  • After the such activity, certain brain areas activate, giving you more energy;
  • Then your tiredness from eating disappears, and you feel better.

4. Eat Slowly

The longer the food takes to digest, the longer the post-meal exhaustion will last. So, your task is to increase the time of eating. Refrain from hastily eating large portions.

  • You should take your time and chew your food slowly;
  • In this way, you will ease the body’s digestion and get full faster;
  • And this will provide you with energy instead of lethargy.

5. Reduce Your Carbohydrate Intake

Stop eating bread, pasta, cereals, processed flour, and sweets. It is the only way to lower blood sugar. After all, if it is high, the exhaustion after eating will constantly haunt you. And it happens not only after eating but also for no reason. Why? Because a lot of sugar in the body takes away your energy:

  • Thus, reduce carbohydrates in your diet to a minimum;
  • Avoid potatoes, bread, and noodles;
  • All processed foods increase blood sugar levels. So it is better to replace them with proteins;
  • For example, you can eat chicken with sweet pepper and broccoli;
  • Or, if you prefer not to eat meat, eat black beans with coconut oil;
  • Then, you’ll not feel extremely tired after eating and will feel better.

6. Sleep Normally

Good sleep is a successful path to good health. A huge amount of hormones is produced during night sleep. It includes hormones that regulate appetite. When you lack this hormone too much, it causes overeating. 

  • So, watch your sleep schedule and give up habits that disrupt it;
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep every day;
  • Then your hormones will be in order and will not cause problems with nutrition;
  • And no problems with food – no problems with fatigue after that.

Bottom Line

Tiredness after eating is normal, but not when it is constant and causes discomfort. Usually, this is a severe signal about the onset of diseases or a careless attitude to one’s health. Thus, watch your diet and lead an active lifestyle. Also, take supplements to enhance health. Then the risk of being exhausted after eating will be minimal.


What foods drain your energy?

Fast food and very fatty foods;
Carbonated water and coffee;

Can I sleep 30 minutes after eating?

No. You need to wait at least three hours after eating before going to bed. Otherwise, the food doesn’t digest normally, gradually leading to excess weight. Besides, it will lead to a loss of your energy.

Can eating unhealthy make you tired?

Yes. Poor nutrition causes tiredness and endangers the body. Because too much unhealthy food disrupts the metabolism, which decreases the body’s energy.

Should I be worried if I fall asleep after eating?

It depends on how often this happens. If you want to sleep after every meal, pay attention to it. It means that the food does not have time to digest and takes away your energy.

View all Articles