Have you ever noticed that you are more likely to snap at everyone around you when your stomach begins to grumble? This instant, irrational temper is defined as ‘hanger’. If you thought this slang term was unrelated to fact, think again! Read on for what the experts say in Science Claims: Being ‘Hangry’ is a Real Thing!
Science already tells us that our blood sugar level drops when we don’t eat, leading to weakness, irritability, decrease in concentration, and nausea, but it turns out there’s more.
Low Blood Sugar Can Trigger Hunger, Anger & Sometimes Rage
Low blood sugar levels also trigger the release of hormones related to stress such as, epinephrine, cortisol, and neuropeptide Y. These hormones are initially released with the intent of restoring your blood sugar levels back to normal. Unfortunately, whilst they trigger hunger, they also happen to trigger rage and anger – turning those innocent individuals that happen to cross our paths sometimes into victims.
The timing in which ‘hanger’ kicks in differs for every individual. But, the lower your blood sugar goes, the ‘hangrier’ you become – basically it’s your body’s way of telling you to get food ASAP.
When Hunger Strikes, Avoid Sugary Snacks!
The challenging part though is that, ‘hangry’ individuals often tend to crave sweets such as pastries, chocolate, candy, or cookies. Although these sugary snacks will in fact raise your blood sugar quickly, that spike will inevitably lead to another crash – making you cranky all over again, plus the added detriment of being badly nourished.
When Hangry, Pay Attention to Your Thoughts & Feelings and Stay Positive until You Grab Some Grub!
Furthermore, when you’re hungry, you may see the world with a more negative outlook than when you’re not hungry. The reason is because individuals are more prone to be influenced by their feelings when they’re not paying attention to them. This implies that people could become ‘hangrier’ when they aren’t focusing on their present inner feelings, but instead are carried away by their external surroundings such as a cashier’s rude comment, the cab driver’s terrible parking or even your cat’s ‘dismissive of you expression’ after eye contact is made!
Keep Healthy Snacks with You
So what is one supposed to do? First, always keep healthy snacks with you! Snacks that don’t contain a large amount of processed sugars lead to a slower, more gradual rise in blood sugar levels, but will definitely help you avoid that post-crash mode causing further irritability.
Snacks like fruits, vegetables, or yogurts are satiating enough to keep you satisfied until your next meal. Second, be more mindful of your hunger – yes, you’re hungry and are starting to feel overwhelmed and stressed.
Conclusion: Awareness + Control of Thought & Feeling will Help You Sail Through Bouts of ‘Hanger’
But try stepping back from the heat of those feelings in order to perceive your growling stomach – you might realise that it’s hunger that’s intensifying your negative feelings. This awareness and understanding will eventually give you the ability to still be yourself, even when you’re feeling hungry.