Simple ways to overcome the dreaded food coma

Taking a quick walk, having a chat or even munching an apple can help perk you up

Coming out of the long weekend of Chinese New Year feasting, you just had a nice lunch and before you know it, you are struggling to stay awake.

Here is how to re-energise yourself and avoid the dreaded food coma .

Get moving

Getting up from your seat and taking a quick walk will help boost blood circulation and aid digestion.

You will be perked up as long as you are not sedentary.

Take a bathroom break, and if you are at the office or the mall, walk to the farthest toilet or the toilet one floor up. You can also do some stretches while you are at it.

Have a lighter lunch with more protein and fewer carbs

After eating, your body transports more blood to the digestive system.

Heavy meals require even more blood, which causes temporary deprivation of blood and nutrients in your brain, resulting in grogginess.

Cut down on carbohydrates like pasta and bread. They make the brain produce serotonin, a chemical that helps create a calm and pleasant mood, while making tryptophan, the chemical responsible for sleepiness.

Protein is the way to go as it makes you feel fuller compared with an equal amount of calories from carbohydrate or fat.

Talk to your colleague or text a friend

If the lethargy hits during work hours, make small talk with your colleagues over text, phone, Zoom or face to face - that one or two minutes to take your mind off the afternoon lull can make a difference.

Hopefully, you will have a good laugh and a brighter day. That burst of energy is sure to do wonders, and you will have more motivation to continue working.

Drink lots of water

Be sure to avoid carbonated or sweet drinks after a meal. They can make your sugar levels rise even more, inhibiting orexin, the brain chemical that makes you feel awake.

Having lots of water is not only good for your health, you will also be energised from constantly having to get up to walk to the toilet.

Eat an apple

Fight sleepiness by munching an apple - all that moving of the jaw with each crunchy bite will get you through the mid- afternoon slump.

The process of digesting the natural sugars wakes up the body and keeps it that way for about as long as it takes for your body to process the apple. This healthy option definitely beats downing caffeine.


Apply pressure to these acupressure stimulation points - the top of your head, top of the back of both sides of your neck, just below both knees and on the back of your hands in between the thumb and forefinger.

Acupressure can help students stay awake, according to research by the University of Michigan Health System's Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Centre.

This article was first published in Her World Online (


Food & Drink