Why does eating a large, dense meal make your whole body feel “stiff” and make you want to sit down?

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Why does eating a large, dense meal make your whole body feel “stiff” and make you want to sit down?

In: Biology

All your blood gets drawn to digestion. Also certain foods contain things that make you sleepy which compounds the first part.

Your body redirects circulation to where it’s needed most. After eating a large meal, blood is drawn from your extremities (legs, arms, etc) to the digestive system (mostly your stomach) in order to begin breaking down the food you just ate. The same is true for the autonomic nervous system as well. You sympathetic nervous system (fight and flight) switches predominantly to your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) so that your heart rate and breathing slow down forcing your body to mostly focus on digestion. This can cause your legs to feel “stiff” and compel some to sit or lay down.

Side Note: This is the main reason why they say not to go swimming until 30min after you eat. There is more to this notion but the general principle still stands.