The science behind feeling hangry - Emily Skye

The science behind feeling hangry

The science behind feeling hangry

Are you one of those people who gets a bit cranky if you don’t eat when you need to? Turns out there is a scientific explanation behind why some of us get more than just hungry… We get hangry!

Your brain has a lot of responsibilities, such as making sure all the other organs of your body are working, ergo it is kinda important! Because it is always working, it requires twice as much energy as any other organ in your body. The body converts carbohydrates into glucose which feeds your body and most importantly, your brain. When your brain isn’t getting the glucose it needs to fuel its billions of neurons it sends out signals to start synthesizing and releasing hormones that will work to increase the amount of glucose in your bloodstream.

There are 4 main hormones that are called into action to help counter the drop in glucose. These are glucagon, adrenalin, epinephrine and cortisol. Both epinephrine and cortisol are released into your body during stressful situations, not just when your blood sugar levels drop. Adrenalin is the main hormone released as part of the sympathetic nervous system in the flight or fight response to a threat or sudden scare. So just as you may react in a protective (and a tad aggressive) way when you are threatened or scared, you may also react this way when your blood sugar levels drop!

So there you go! If you know you are someone who is overwhelmed by the ‘hangries’ then it is a good idea to focus your diet towards low GI foods, to ensure that your brain always has all the glucose it needs to function!

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