If you’re the kind of person that can’t quite think rationally or calmly when you’re hungry, then you’re not alone. ‘Hangry’ – a nifty little word that combines the words hungry and angry, is a very real emotional state.
WATCH: Study confirms having an empty stomach leads to poor decisions
"hanger is a biological state that is precipitated by the lack of food, and that involves feeling grumpy, agitated and impatient," Zane Andrews, associate professor of physiology with Monash University, told ABC.
How does ‘hangry’ work?
The carbs, fats and proteins in the food you eat are digested into sugars, amino acids and free fatty acids that are sent to different organs in your body via the bloodstream to maintain optimum bodily function. As time passes since your last meal, the level of nutrients in your bloodstream start to drop. This is particularly important when it comes to your brain, which requires lots of glucose – a type of sugar – to function. Research from the University of Guelph in Canada found that hangriness is caused by a sudden drop in glucose levels. When glucose levels get low you may find it hard to concentrate, make mistakes or feel a little confused or overwhelmed.
In fact, feeling hungry is your body’s way of telling you it needs nutrients and energy, and the ‘hunger’ sensation can take over all other cognitive resources, making is hard to concentrate. Which means you can become snippy, cranky or grumpy.
Better yet, a study by the University of Cambridge’s Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Science Unit found that not eating reduces the amount of serotonin in the brain, which can make it harder to control feelings of aggression.
So, if anyone ever tells your hangry isn’t a real thing, you can now say with confidence that science has proven it is indeed a very real thing – so it’s in everyone’s best interest if you hand over the chocolate peacefully.
Laura BarryLaura Barry is a writer, bookworm and interior design enthusiast with a love for reporting on all things homes, travel and lifestyle. When not tapping away at her keyboard, Laura can be found making endless cups of tea or perusing the shelves of Sydney’s many bookstores.