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You’re Not You When You are Hungry!

Have you ever heard Snicker’s tag line used in their commercials that says, “You’re not you when you are hungry”? Well, hate to break this to you, but this is completely true. Do you get cranky often? Or snap out and later regret it? Do you have an attitude until you eat? You might be suffering from hangry, but what is it? “Hangry is an adjective that describes being irritable due to hunger” (merriam-webster, 2017).

Hangry When you eat, the carbohydrates, fats and proteins in food converts into glucose which is sugar. These nutrients enter our bloodstream and is dispersed to our organs and brain. As time passes by our glucose levels start to diminish, but if these levels decrease too much then our brain perceives this as life threatening. Our brain only uses glucose as fuel and even though our it accounts for 2% of our body’s mass, it needs approximately 23% of our energy intake. Not only that, but our organs release stress hormones like cortisol when glucose levels are low. This alone changes our mood drastically.

HangryGenes also play a major role in hangry. For instance, our genes release a chemical called neuropeptide Y and different receptors like Y1. Both neuropeptide Y and Y1 regulate anger in the brain. An increased level of these in the brain contribute to abrupt anger. Basically, hangry is a survival mechanism. In the past, our ancestors couldn’t lay back and just wait for food to pass by. They had to act out in order not to die from hunger.

But don’t worry there are foods you can snack on when hangry. Nuts, fruits, tuna and crackers, chips and guacamole, Greek yogurt with granola or fruit, humus and veggies, avocados or oatmeal can keep you calm until your next meal. The trick here is to eat foods that contain protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Protein is an organic compound that consists of long chains of amino acid. Basically, protein helps maintain blood glucose levels. It allows different brain regions to communicate effectively improving your mood. Fiber is a plant based nutrient, that helps food move through the digestive tract. This is important because it allows our body to eliminate substances we don’t need. Without enough fiber in our diet we get clogged affecting our mood. Antioxidants are compounds the help delay cell damage. What this does is that it keeps our body and mind healthy. It is also important to avoid junk food because even though it calm your anger down it will generally produce an increase in blood-glucose that will crash down quickly.

Eating when you are hungry sometimes isn’t possible due to our busy schedules, so try and keep healthy snacks near you to munch on. And remember, “You’re not you when you are hungry”.

References

Alison Wilkinson. (2017). 11 Best Foods to Eat When You’re Hangry. Retrieved from: http://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/hangry-foods-to-eat/

Brain Babble. (2016). Why Do We Get “Hangry”?. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-babble/201607/why-do-we-get-hangry

Meriam-Webster. (2017). What’s Hangry?. Retrieved from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/hangry-meaning

The conversation. (2015). Health Check: the science of ‘hangry’, or why some people get grumpy when they’re hungry. Retrieved from: http://theconversation.com/health-check-the-science-of-hangry-or-why-some-people-get-grumpy-when-theyre-hungry-37229

18 Comments

  1. Well hello you, the creative writer!
    It’s about 1am here and my concentration is not at my best but here I am understanding every word- that definitely says something about clarity and conciseness.
    I like that you put it simply without complicating but still explained it better than “just eat a snickers”. 😉

  2. Well, this was one of te most helpful topics I’ve read about in a long time! I’ll admit that as a psychology major, I tend to forget (okay, really I purposely block them out) the biological aspects of psych. Thanks so much for breaking it down for us everyday hangry humans, since I always lean towards endless Cheetos rather than more filling snacks like nuts.

  3. This is a good read, I’ve always saw this as a joke, another senseless saying. Glad to know that it’s actually backed up by science. This also brings to mind something a friend told me about intermittent fasting. I’m sure doing this will also help decrease the number of hangry people on this planet. You basically eat in an 8-hour time frame and fast for the next 16hours. You may read more here: http://jamesclear.com/the-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting

  4. This was great and really informative! It was written so well, and I liked the playful touch to it. It made me curious though about something else I read about how a certain type of fasting can help improve brain function. I wonder if you have to wait past the threshold of hangry for your body to switch into a different mode.

  5. A very interesting article! Sometimes, it’s easy for people to forget that their moods are actually affected by what’s going on in their body, and the being “hangry” is more than just a joke: it’s a a bodily condition that can be scientifically explained!
    The article did good job of explaining exactly how and why people feel angry, as well as what they can do to prevent future moods. It was also nice to read about which food to eat and not to eat in order to best alleviate being hangry.
    More in text citations would help support the statements being made regarding genes and chemical compounds, and although they don’t take away from the essence of the article, there are a few grammatical errors scattered around that could require a bit of revision.
    Overall, a very intriguing article that was both fun and informative to read!

  6. I really enjoyed this article! I think the Snickers theme was a fantastic addition, but I would strongly advise against quoting the dictionary, even for slang. That is something many of us are taught to do in essays in gradeschool, but for a professional-grade article it is not appropriate. Unless an expert in the field of hangry exists and can define it for you, it’s best to put it into your own words. Also, I would experiment with shorter paragraphs. The last paragraph is a huge chunk of text that could be very intimidating to some readers.

  7. Very interesting article I must say. The slogan was very clever especially starting your article like that. I can also tell that based on your research, you know what you’re talking about because everything up until the end matched your title and the catchphrase from the snickers commercial. I also learned a lot from this in terms of what the bodies protein, glucose, and fibers really do. I also found the neuropeptide to be very interesting as I never heard of that. Now that I understand the effects of neuropeptide I can actually see how my own anger relates to my parents as you said it involves our genes. Other than that I liked your advice and this article in general. Keep up the good work.

  8. This is awesome! I always notice myself and others acting out when hungry and try to attribute crankiness to that. It is great having proof and understanding as to what’s going on when we get hangry.

  9. “Do you have an attitude until you eat?” YES HAHAHAHA this tagline is great for an intro, and that dictionary definition of angry and patrick swallowing all those krabby patties seals the deal for me.

    Eating is actually a very normal part of our everyday life and yet many people fail to notice it’s big impact not only on our physique but on our emotions as well. Eating healthy is now very much overlooked by the oversized fries of America.

    As for the connection to psychology, other than the mention of hormones, this article actually reminds me of the hierarchy of needs. How, until people satisfy their biological hunger, they will be unable to reach a higher level of need, something less physical. Food for thought for your future articles.

    But nevertheless, this was a good article. Interesting and informative. Well-structured and witty. Good job!

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