Steel Cage Match: Caffeine v. Tryptophan

Turkey contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which makes you sleepy. Coffee (thanks to trimethyldioxypurin, natch) perks you up. So one should counter the other, right?

Yeah, right. Sure.

I guess we're lucky that ham is more traditional for Christmas and that rare is the Jewish family that would serve turkey over latkes come Chanukah. While heavily starchy foods do tend to encourage dozing, a cup of joe is more than a match for them (and what really goes better with a stack of pancakes?).

Turkey is a whole 'nother story, my friend. Like boozing on Sudafed, mixing two chemical substances in your body can have unpredictable results. Some people can handle caffeine plus tryptophan. Some of us are less fortunate, and our bodies attempt to obey two masters rather than find a happy medium. Symptoms like nausea, for instance, aren't unheard of. The shakes. Or that weird Thanksgiving phenomenon where you keep falling asleep, waking up, getting all crazy, then crashing again, all in the span of five minutes.

Bad mojo.