One-minute biology with OZ: “Soup Coma”

Fatigue often comes after a meal. But why? And what helps against sudden lethargy?

A full stomach does not like to study, as the ancient Romans already knew, who said it more melodically: Plenus venter non studet libenter. But it does not matter in what language it is declaimed: why are so many people more flabby and tired after a good meal than strengthened and fresh? “The body has to digest food in the stomach and intestines, which is why the necessary amount of blood is transported from other organs to the abdomen,” says Darleen Domsgen, a student of biology and English at the University of Rostock. Unfortunately, this also means that with blood, oxygen is more likely to be found in the stomach than in the brain. “It means: we get tired,” says the 22-year-old future teacher.

“During digestion, amino acids are released from food that cause fatigue.” For example, serotonin, which is also responsible for intestinal peristalsis, that is, for the contraction and relaxation of the intestine. “At high doses, serotonin is also used as a sleep aid.”

Darleen Domsgen, a biology student at the University of Rostock

Darleen Domsgen, biology student at the University of Rostock Source: private

A full but also an empty stomach is a problem

In order not to fall into a so-called soup coma after a meal, it is best to bring oxygen to the brain. “This works well if you boost your circulatory system and metabolism,” says Darleen Domsgen. It is good to exercise in the fresh air. For example, you can also walk up the stairs instead of using the elevator.

To escape a “coma”, eating is not the answer. “An empty stomach reduces the ability to concentrate.” The organic student therefore recommends light instead of hearty food.

Read more: One minute of biology with OZ: Mussels are filters for the water of the Baltic Sea

Klaus Amberger

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