Does Oatmeal Make You Tired? See Causes & Solutions

What we consume in the morning affects our productivity during the day. So, it’s important to choose a diet that has the essential nutrients and ingredients to help you stay energetic.

Oatmeal is a perfect breakfast meal with healthy fiber and enough carbohydrates that the body needs. Compared to most cereals, it can help you maintain energy levels for a long time. However, a few people may have complained of feeling tired after eating oatmeal.

If you often feel tired after eating oatmeal or experienced fatigue at a point in time after indulging in a bowl of oatmeal, this article explains why.

Can oatmeal make you feel tired?

Yes. Although oatmeal is recommended as a meal that has all the components of a healthy breakfast, however, eating highly processed brands in the morning can make you feel tired.

According to studies, foods with high glycemic index load quickly raise the sugar level but crashes in a short while because insulin takes sugar from the bloodstream.

Tiredness and irritability are associated with fluctuations in blood sugar and that is why eating processed oatmeal brands with high amounts of sugar can make you feel tired.

SEE: Does Eating Oats For Dinner Help To Lose Weight

Can oatmeal make you feel sleepy?

Yes. Oatmeal contains tryptophan and melatonin, and magnesium which are ingredients that make the body calm and relaxed. These ingredients also relieve anxiety and stress and act as sleep inducers.

As soon as you eat a bowl of oatmeal, the carbohydrate present promotes the release of insulin, which aids the transmission of tryptophan into the brain.

The brain then converts this tryptophan into serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that regulates sleep, appetite, mood, and pain.

Therefore, eating oatmeal in the morning and especially at night can induce and improve sleep. It could help you relax, destress and feel better.

SEE: Is Oatmeal Good For Ulcer

How to eat oatmeal to avoid fatigue

Follow these recommendations to avoid tiredness after eating oatmeal:

1. Pick the right oats

Some brands of instant oatmeal contain sugar and add-ons in high quantities which gives them a high glycemic index. Eating them can spike up blood sugar levels and make you feel tired and cranky after a while.

To avoid this, you have to consume oats that are less processed.

Steel-cut oats, old-fashioned oats, and plain versions of instant oatmeal are the healthiest to eat. They are not packed with sugar like processed cereals.

SEE: The Differences Between Oats And Oatmeal

2. Control what you include in your oatmeal

While some people prefer to use water to cook their oatmeal, others go with milk. Whichever one you use gives you a longer-lasting boost, however, you should be careful of what you add to them.

Instead of sweetening your oatmeal with sugar, use brown sugar, a little honey, or a drop of stevia. Also add flavorings like cinnamon, blueberries, or raisins. These make your food much more nutritious without really increasing the carb count.

3. Eat a moderate portion

The size of oatmeal you eat can cause a sugar spike and cause you to get tired. The more oatmeal you consume, the higher the glycemic index.

Moreso, oatmeal doesn’t digest quickly, so eating too much in the morning may cause bloating.

This means that your body wouldn’t be able to maximize the nutrients from the food and you’d feel too full. You may begin to feel tired as a result of heaviness.

It is advisable that you stick to a cup or one and a half cups at most in the morning. Also, instead of adding more oatmeal to leftover milk, drink it.

SEE: Can Oatmeal Cause Constipation Or Not

How does food affect energy levels?

As carbohydrate enters the body, the sugar for the food goes into the bloodstream which increases the blood sugar level gradually.

During this process, the body secrets a hormone called insulin which transports sugar from the bloodstream and stores it in the muscles and liver so that it can be used later.

The higher the number of carbohydrates contained in the food, the more insulin the body releases to normalize blood sugar levels.

To determine how a food affects sugar level, the glycemic index is used as a determinant. Foods with a high glycemic index lead to a greater spike in blood sugar and how long it stays high.

Foods that cause tiredness are known to have a high glycemic index but those with less sugar but high fiber help your blood sugar rise slowly and sustain energy for a long time.

Which foods cause fatigue?

Here are some foods that will make you feel weak and tired:

1. Baked goods

Most baked goods such as cakes, cookies, donuts, and muffins, contain bad fat and sugar in high amounts. Hence, they actually cause a high energy boost at first but it often doesn’t last long.

Moreso, they are made up of refined carbohydrates which lack essential nutrients that the body needs.

2. Potato chips

It’s a spicy, salty, and crunchy snack that could be quite addictive. But in all its sweetness, it’s a chunk of fats and unhealthy carbohydrates.

Because of its high sugar content, it can boost your energy really fast but only for a short time. Eating it with a creamy dip makes it even more dangerous.

SEE: How to Tell if a Potato Is Bad

3. Caffeinated drinks

Avoid taking drinks that are high in caffeine, carbon, and sugar in the morning. They have no nutritional value and apart from that, they can make you feel really tired upon digestion.

The gas in them can be too tough on your stomach making you really uncomfortable. Instead of taking these drinks simply take water, coffee, or herbal tea in the morning.

4. Cherries

Cherries are great for bedtime than for breakfast or mid-day. This is because it contains tryptophan in high amounts. So, eating it in the morning or for lunch can make you feel tired and sleepy.

5. Banana

Bananas contain tryptophan, magnesium, and potassium which are nutrients that reduces anxiety and helps the body relax better. So, if you take a lot of it during the day, you may begin to feel sleepy.

SEE: Is Raisin Bran Good for Diabetics

How long does oatmeal give you energy?

Oatmeal contains a healthy amount of carbs and the high fiber content in them slows down digestion and the absorption of energy. This means that oatmeal helps to sustain energy in the body for up to three hours.

Oats also contain vitamins B and minerals like niacin, thiamin, and folate which work together to aid energy metabolism in the body.


Which foods boost energy during the day?

Oatmeal, potatoes, nuts and seeds, fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein, and unprocessed foods.

What happens if you eat oatmeal before bedtime?

You will have a good night’s sleep. Oatmeal contains melatonin, tryptophan, and magnesium which are ingredients that help you relax better and induce sleep.

Is it better to eat oatmeal in the morning or at night?

It’s okay to eat oatmeal in the morning or at night. Oatmeal contains nutrients that reduce LDL cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. It also reduces hunger pang and eases bowel movement and metabolism.

Is oatmeal good for breakfast?

Yes. Oatmeal is a perfect breakfast food that is rich in fiber and carbohydrates to sustain energy during the day. However, those processed brands with added sugar and additives are less healthy.

So, you should avoid eating them if you want to stay productive during the day. Instead go for plain instant oat, steel-cut oats, and old-fashioned oats.


Foods with high sugar could make you feel tired, but there are more prevalent causes of fatigue.

Chronic fatigue syndrome and the shortage of healthy red blood cells in the body popularly known as anemia are also common causes of body weakness.

Constant fatigue can also be associated with insulin resistance. It affects the body’s ability to digest carbohydrates and this could lead to sugar spikes when you eat oatmeal. If you feel tired often it’s advisable to see a doctor.

Additionally, instead of indulging in foods and drinks that are packed with sugar and fat, go for meals that have the essential carbohydrates, healthy protein, and fiber for a great day. Here is a list of foods that are naturally gluten-free.

I hope this article helped. Thanks for reading.

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