Reasons Why Carbs Make You Tired

Reasons why carbs make you tiredReasons why carbs make you tired

Carbohydrates is a type of food group that is designed to give the body enough energy to carry out its normal process inside the human body. The reason why carbs make you tired is that they contain an amino acid called tryptophan which causes sleepiness in the human body.

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy but they can really work against someone’s general wellness and energy levels causing them to feel sleepy and generally tired.

How do carbs make you tired?

Once someone consumes carbohydrates, it is passed through the digestive system. It is then broken down and absorbed in the bloodstream. Due to this absorption, the blood sugar rises and causes the pancreas to produce a hormone called insulin responsible for allowing the cells to absorb sugar.

Carbohydrates contain tryptophan which causes sleepiness in the human body

Carbohydrates contain tryptophan which causes sleepiness in the human body

The body then produces glucagon hormone which helps the body to keep check of blood sugar and energy levels. Due to this rapid spike of glucagon in response to eating carbohydrates, the sugar levels will plummet back down very rapidly, which is why someone will experience a general feeling of tiredness, causing a condition known as hypoglycemia which is also known as low blood sugar.

Basically, it is the low blood sugar level that causes the feeling of tiredness. Get more information here:

Other reasons why you may feel tired after consuming carbohydrates

There are other reasons why you may feel a certain drop in energy when you consume carbohydrates. Some of these reasons are:

  • Serotonin and Tryptophan hormone production

The production of serotonin and tryptophan hormones, which is as a result of consuming carbohydrates, is the main reason why someone might feel tired.

Serotonin is the hormone responsible for the feeling of general calmness and pleasant moods, while tryptophan hormone is responsible or the general feeling of tiredness and sleepiness in the body.

  • Drowsiness from overeating

Overeating is the most common cause of eating sleepiness and it is attributed to eating a lot of carbohydrates at one sitting.

Overeating causes the body to channel more blood into the digestive system which causes a temporary deprivation of blood and nutrients in the brain resulting in residual tiredness.

Read more: 4 Beverages to Avoid if You Want to Sleep Soundly While Traveling

This can be prevented by eating small, frequent, portions spread out throughout the day.

Drowsiness from overeating

Drowsiness from overeating

Types of carbohydrates and how they affect the body

There are different types of carbohydrate found in different types of food that affect the body differently, in terms of the sugar levels and the energy levels they effect inside the body.

  • Simple carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are carbs that are often rapidly absorbed in the body. They, in turn, spike blood sugar levels causing a drastic increase in energy in the body.

Due to this spike, the drop in energy level will also be rapid and this can leave someone feeling fatigued and lethargic afterward. Some examples of simple carbs are candy, soda, syrups, sugary baked foods, and table sugar.

  • Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are carbs that are not rapidly absorbed in the body. The process of breaking them down is more gradual and this can cause a gradual rise in energy levels.

The body takes a lot of time to process these carbs leading to a sustained rise in energy levels. Some of the foods that provide this type of carbs are vegetables, grains and seeds of plants (e.g. maize, beans)

How to minimize the feeling of tiredness during the day

There are measures that you can take to control and minimize the feeling of general tiredness during the day. Some of these measures are:

  • Do not skip breakfast

Breakfast is the first meal of the day and it is very important for the body. When someone skips breakfast, the energy level for the rest of the day will be set to the feeling of grogginess and tiredness.

After the hours of rest on a comfortable mattress and the right pillows, a good breakfast is necessary to restore your energy levels and nutrients for the rest of the day.

  • Eating smaller meals throughout the day

When someone consumes a large meal, the body will require a lot of energy to digest it. You should eat smaller portions throughout the day so that the body can remain alert and have enough energy to do other tasks for the remainder of the day.

  • Opt for macro-nutrient balanced meals

Opt for a balanced diet of natural foods instead of processed foods and starchy sides. A balanced diet should include vegetables as the main food, a serving of whole grains and lean meat.

Opt for macro-nutrient balanced meals

Opt for macro-nutrient balanced meals

You should also drink plenty of water so that your body remains hydrated and detoxified for maximum energy levels.


Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy but they also come with a few disadvantages to the body. Consuming carbs results in the production of serotonin and tryptophan hormones that are responsible for the general feeling of calmness and tiredness. This is why carbs make you tired and cause sleepiness during the day.

There are different types of carbohydrates that are found on different types of foods that people consume. These carbohydrates are absorbed differently inside the body and they have different effects on how the body controls the sugars produced and the level of energy that a person will have during their day.

There are ways that you can control the effects of carbs in the body and if you can adopt some of the habits discussed above you should be able to manage the effects of sleepiness and tiredness caused by carbs.

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