Here's why you want to binge eat when you are drunk
Yep, we all know that feeling. It’s Friday night, you’re had a little bit too much to drink, and your alcohol-fuelled brain is craving food. Lots of food.
And no, a measly salad won’t do. You need something more binge-worthy – like a juicy burger, a meaty kebab or an Indian takeaway.
It appears scientists might now be able to tell you why you feel so ravenous after your booze-filled evening.
According to a study by the Francis Crick Institute in London, alcohol activates the region in your brain that controls hunger.
Although the research was conducted on lab mice, scientists believe further tests could reveal the same applies to humans.
As part of the study, researchers injected the stomachs of the mice with wine. They found the rodents with alcohol in their body ate more than their sober counterparts.
The scientists then examined the brains of the mice to see how the agouti-related protein (Agrp) neurons – the brain component which controls hunger – reacted when alcohol was present in the body.
They noticed wine triggered electrical activity in Argp neurons – sending drunk mice scampering for food. However, when they suppressed the electrical activity in the region with the help of a drug, the mice weren’t driven to eat out of hunger.
The researchers wrote in their paper: “Although ethanol (EtOH, the active ingredient in alcoholic beverages) is the second most calorie-dense nutrient after fat, it stimulates rather than inhibits eating.”
Scientists say further research is needed to find out whether the same applies in humans, but it is possible our brains behave the same way as mice.
The research is published in Nature Communications.