Why Does Chinese Food Make You Sleepy?
- Gary Woods
Fans of Chinese cuisine may have experienced symptoms such as a headache or feeling ill after eating a meal from a Chinese restaurant or takeout, but they may not be aware that these symptoms are caused by a true condition. In actuality, what medical professionals used to refer to as the “Chinese restaurant sickness” is a response to monosodium glutamate (MSG), a condiment that is frequently used in Chinese cuisine.
- MSG symptom complex is what happens when the flavoring creates symptoms such as headache, perspiration, nausea, weariness, or high heart rate.
- This condition has just been given a new label.
- Ingestion of monosodium glutamate (MSG) is not thought to be associated with any adverse health consequences, and the Food and Drug Administration in the United States considers it to be completely safe for human consumption.
But the MSG symptom complex is a genuine condition, according to medical professionals, and avoiding foods that contain it is the most effective method to protect yourself from developing it. However, the flavor may be found in a variety of foods, including hot dogs, canned goods, and crisps, in addition to Chinese cuisine, making it difficult for many people to avoid consuming it.
Drinking ginger or peppermint tea, staying hydrated, and taking painkillers is the best approach to assist yourself if you do fall prey to MSG, according to Dr. Jane Leonard, a general practitioner and writer based in London. Even though monosodium glutamate (MSG) is best known for its use as a seasoning in Chinese cuisine, there is some speculation that it may have unfavorable effects on some individuals, such as drowsiness and nausea.
Although there is a paucity of scientific evidence regarding the effects of MSG, both patients and medical professionals agree that it is a problem, even though they do not know why the seasoning causes these symptoms. MSG is a kind of glutamic acid, which occurs naturally in the human body and may also be found in a variety of foods, such as cheese, meat, fish, mushrooms, tomatoes, and walnuts.
- MSG is a manufactured version of glutamic acid.
- However, despite its natural occurrence, when monosodium glutamate (MSG) is utilized as an additional flavoring, it can have undesirable consequences on the people who consume it.
- In 2014, researchers from the universities of Yeonsung and Kyung Hee in South Korea released their findings that those who ate MSG reported a variety of negative side effects after their meal.
The symptoms that occurred most frequently were feeling dehydrated, drowsy or weak, nauseous, or having a headache.
Does Chinese food make you sluggish?
There’s nothing quite like cuddling up on the couch with some Netflix and some takeaway Chinese food, am I right? “Chinese food is a classic comfort food because it is super-greasy, super-delicious, and can be found all over the country in cities big and small,” says Isabel Smith, R.D., a celebrity dietitian and fitness expert based in New York City.
“Chinese food is a classic comfort food because it is found all over the country in cities big and small.” “Also, the menus don’t seem to alter, so you nearly always know what you’re getting into.” The most obvious disadvantage is that it leaves us feeling terrible after we eat there. According to Smith, “Chinese food is generally packed with chemicals, salt, and highly processed substances like MSG, which is added to enhance flavor.” MSG is a monosodium glutamate, sometimes known as monosodium glutamate.
Additionally, fried meals, such as those dumplings that you like so much, may increase the probability that you may get acid reflux and cause you to feel lethargic. However, you shouldn’t put down your chopsticks quite so quickly. These solutions, which are healthier and have been authorized by nutritionists, won’t leave you needing to lie on the sofa with a hot water bag on your stomach.
How do you get rid of MSG in your body?
Treatment for common symptoms In most cases, treatment is not necessary for symptoms that are quite mild. Taking pain medicines that are available without a prescription, sometimes known as OTC, might help alleviate your headache. It’s possible that flushing the MSG out of your system and reducing the severity of your symptoms will be helped by drinking several glasses of water.
Does MSG interrupt sleep?
Taking processed snacks and takeout from Chinese restaurants Certain sensitive individuals are more likely to develop unpleasant side effects after consuming MSG. These adverse effects might include palpitations that induce sleepiness, headaches, weariness, and soreness in the muscles.
What is MSG stand for?
Monosodium glutamate, sometimes known as MSG, is a flavor enhancer that is frequently added to meals such as those served in restaurants as well as canned vegetables, soups, and deli meats. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has determined that monosodium glutamate (MSG) is an additive in food that is generally regarded as safe.
- However, its application is still up for discussion.
- Because of this, the FDA mandates that each time MSG is added to food, the ingredient must be disclosed on the packaging.
- Since many years ago, monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been utilized as an addition in food.
- During this time period, the FDA has been given several reports of people’s distressing responses, which they have connected to the consumption of foods that contained MSG.
These responses, sometimes known as the MSG symptom complex, include the following:
- Tightness or pressure in the face
- Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in various locations of the face, neck, and other parts of the body
- A racing and fluttering in the chest
- Chest pain
- Feeling ill (nausea)
However, experts have not uncovered any convincing evidence that MSG is linked to the aforementioned symptoms. Researchers do concede, however, that a relatively tiny percentage of people may experience responses to MSG in the near term. In many cases, the symptoms are not severe and may not require treatment.
What does MSG look like?
The term “monosodium glutamate” is often abbreviated to “MSG.” It is an additive that improves the flavor of food by using L-glutamic acid, an amino acid that occurs naturally in a variety of foods. L-glutamic acid is considered a non-essential amino acid since the human body is capable of producing it on its own and does not require it to be obtained from the diet ( 1 ).
MSG is a crystalline powder that is white in color, odorless, and is extensively used in the food industry. The term “E621” is commonly used to refer to it in the food sector. It is easy to dissolve in water, and when it does, it produces sodium and free glutamate ( 2 ). Fermentation of carbohydrate sources such as sugar beet, sugar cane, and molasses is required to produce it ( 3 ).
The glutamic acid that is found naturally in some meals and the glutamic acid that is present in MSG are identical from a chemical standpoint. Because of this, your body is unable to tell the difference between the two sorts ( 3, 4, 5 ). In addition to sweet, sour, salty, and bitter, MSG also possesses a flavor that is referred to as umami.
- Umami is the fifth fundamental taste.
- The abundance of proteins in food contributes to the umami flavor, which has been described as having a “meaty” flavor ( 2, 6 ).
- In addition to monosodium glutamate (MSG), additional chemicals that have an umami taste include inosine 5′-monophosphate (IMP) and guanosine 5′-monophosphate (GMP) ( 1 ).
MSG is a flavor enhancer that is widely used in Asian cooking as well as in a variety of Western manufactured goods. It is believed that humans take in between 0.3 and 1.0 grams on a daily basis on average ( 1, 7 ).
How much MSG is too much?
What exactly does “MSG symptom complex” refer to? When people talk about having “an MSG attack,” they are referring to a set of symptoms that are occasionally believed to occur after drinking MSG. If you’ve ever heard someone talk about having “an MSG attack,” then you know what they mean.
In 1968, people started reporting having these symptoms for the first time. They are as follows: Headaches, nausea, numbness, flushing, tingling, palpitations, and drowsiness are some of the symptoms you may experience. The phrase “MSG symptom complex” is occasionally used to refer to this sensitivity, however studies have shown that it only affects a very tiny number of persons who are sensitive to MSG.
Even in such cases, the effects are extremely temporary and should go away in less than an hour. A person who is sensitive to MSG is more likely to have these negative effects after consuming 3 grams or more of MSG on its own without food, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What does a reaction to MSG feel like?
Monosodium glutamate, sometimes known as MSG, is a flavor enhancer that is commonly used in a variety of Asian cuisines. MSG can cause a variety of adverse effects in some people, including flushing, sweating, chest discomfort, and weakness. A headache, a feeling of pressure in the face, sleepiness, as well as numbness and tingling in the face, back, and arms are some of the other symptoms.
- An MSG reaction, on the other hand, is more likely to be a sensitivity than a genuine allergy, despite the fact that some people mistakenly believe the symptoms they are experiencing are the consequence of an allergy.
- According to Andy Nish, MD, a board-certified pediatrician and allergy-immunologist practicing in Gainesville, Georgia, the involvement of a protein called IgE, an antibody that works in the allergy department of your immune system, is the difference between an allergy and a sensitivity.
Andy Nish is a board-certified pediatrician and allergy-immunologist. True allergies, such pollen or pet allergies, are IgE-mediated. Not at all common is a sensitivity to MSG. Because symptoms manifest themselves after contact with the allergen, it may give the impression of being an allergic reaction.
What does MSG sensitivity feel like?
A loss of awareness, weakness, flushing, disorientation, headache, numbness, muscular tightness, difficulty breathing, and headaches are just some of the symptoms that might occur ( 1 ). It appears that three grams or more of MSG taken without meals constitutes the threshold dosage at which sensitive individuals begin to experience transient and relatively moderate symptoms ( 1, 5 ).