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View Full Version : Tryptophan affecting energy levels @ gym?



TECHO
05-09-2006, 09:02 PM
Well, I pretty much felt like I was falling asleep while I was at the gym today. Huge yawns, low energy, etc.. not only that, but I couldn't even come close to lifting the same weight that I was last week during the same Tuesday routine. I'd try to pump myself up, but I was just exhausted and I couldn't understand why. Then I thought about it, and I realized that about 20 min before my workout, I ate a turkey sandwich with 10 slices of turkey breast. I was like, oh... that was silly, turkey has a high quantity of tryptophan in it relative to other products. That must be why I'm so tired.

I came home and googled tryptophan, and read something on Wikipedia that brought my previous knowledge of tryptophan into question:

"Tryptophan and turkey

According to popular belief, tryptophan in turkey meat causes drowsiness [4]. Turkey does contain tryptophan, which does have a documented sleep-inducing effect. However, tryptophan is effective only when taken on its own as a free amino acid. Tryptophan in turkey is found as part of a protein, and, in small enough amounts, this mechanism seems unlikely [5].

A more-likely hypothesis is that the ingestion of large quantities of food, such as at a Thanksgiving feast, means that large quantities of both carbohydrates and branched-chain amino acids are consumed. Like carbohydrates, branched-chain amino acids require insulin to be transduced through the myocyte membranes, which, after a large meal, creates a competition among the amino acids and glucose for insulin, while simultaneously creating tryptophan's reduced competition with other amino acids for the Large Neutral Amino Acid Transporter protein for transduction across the blood-brain barrier. The result is a greater availability of tryptophan, via the Large Neutral Amino Acid Transporter, for conversion into serotonin by the raphe nuclei, which is then available for conversion into melatonin by the pineal gland. Drowsiness is the result."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tryptophan
http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/turkey.asp

So, I now doubt my previous conclusion about the sandwich, however previous days I've eaten sandwiches (not necessarily turkey) or other meals 20-30 min before lifting and felt fine. I got plenty of sleep last night, night before last, and the one before that. I took my usual suppliments, had my usual cup of black coffee, and that morning ate a double serving of oatmeal, banana, yogurt, and toast. For pre lunch I had a tuna sandwich and an apple. For lunch I had the turkey sandwich and another banana. Then I went lifting...

Any ideas? Or have any of you experienced similar fatigue while at the gym after consuming certain foods?

Slim Schaedle
05-09-2006, 09:37 PM
Your avatar is affecting you subconsciously and inducing an exhausted "must rest" mentality.

Get one of Arnold hitting up a double bi and you will be fine.

Better yet, get the pic of Franco deadlifting like 10,000 lbs.

TECHO
05-09-2006, 11:10 PM
I think you're right...

We'll see how this goes. I'll report on Thursday after my lift! ::fingers crossed::

Slim Schaedle
05-09-2006, 11:21 PM
I think you're right...

We'll see how this goes. I'll report on Thursday after my lift! ::fingers crossed::
:thumbup:

Eszekial
05-10-2006, 01:51 PM
Blah, i used to try and eat tons of turkey to help myself fall asleep...

Now i know why it does absolutely nothing for me....

whiteman90909
05-14-2006, 12:23 AM
beef and chiken have the same amount of tryptophane as turkey... its just a myth that it really has that big of an efect, what does have an effect is any big meal. when you eat a big meal your stomach has to pump and flex to swirl the food around in its acid, the bigger the meal, the more it has to move. your stomach is like any muscle, and you will feel tired because your stomach is moving so much and using up all your energy.

Slim Schaedle
05-14-2006, 02:22 AM
beef and chiken have the same amount of tryptophane as turkey... its just a myth that it really has that big of an efect, what does have an effect is any big meal. when you eat a big meal your stomach has to pump and flex to swirl the food around in its acid, the bigger the meal, the more it has to move. your stomach is like any muscle, and you will feel tired because your stomach is moving so much and using up all your energy.
sooo, exactly how much energy is being used by your stomach flexing and swirling?

whiteman90909
05-14-2006, 01:22 PM
im not 100% sure, but thats why when you eat thanksgiving dinner youre so tired, you eat untill you cant eat any more.

TECHO
05-14-2006, 02:48 PM
Ok, so... turkey definitely had nothing to do with it. It must have just been a bad day. I ate the exact same things at the same time Thurs and Fri and didn't experience low energy.

Slim Schaedle: My new avatar works. ^___^ Thank you