Why heavy meals tire people
Often, after a heavy meal, people have the tendancy to feel sleepy and tired. This has often been attributed to the blood in the body, especially the head, being drawn into the stomach to digest the food, hence making the body tired. This explaination, however, is incomplete.
The truth of the matter lies more with heat. As food is being consumed, it has to travel down the esophagus and various passages to reach the stomach. In the process, it has much contact, and thus friction, with the various passages. This friction creates a sizable amount of heat in the body.
Also, when food is being digested, the chemical reactions generate heat. Thus, consuming a meal actually generates a great deal of heat. This heat, combined with that of normal body functions, may exceed the body's capacity to remove heat, leading to the body's failure. Hence, when food is being consumed, the body's natural reaction is to lower the body's activity rate so as to reduce heat production. Thus, people may feel sleepy or tired when eating. This natural reaction is similar to a person with heatstroke fainting, as both involve slowing the body's activity rate to reduce heat production.
Thus, we should learn to eat in cooler places to avoid dozing off.
I wrote this article a few years ago for my (now defunct) website, under the section "Prevarications". I may post more articles of the same nature in the near future.
Technorati Tags : Prevarications , Tiring Meals