When we feel hungry, our brains are sending out signals that we need food to refill the one that has been used. The more this goes on, the hungrier we get, and we begin to feel angry.
More often than not we attribute this to ourselves and our own personality. We assume anger is a character trait, and being angry when hungry is no exception. What many people don’t realize is that this particular feeling of anger takes rise for scientific reasons, and not just because of who we are.
There are bodily functions – a process – that happens within us when we need food and we don’t get it. These functions lead us to feelings of anger when hungry. The good news is that it is normal! Here’s why.
Studies have shown that what happens to your brain when you are feeling hungry show that the answer is related to the bodily functions and what happens inside us when we are ready or need to eat.
Everything we consume, the proteins, the fats, these are all digested and form into sugars, amino acids and free fatty acids which are then absorbed into our bloodstream. These important nutrients are then passed into our tissue, muscles, and other important areas, and help us function as healthy human beings – they are particularly good for energy.
As time goes by and we haven’t eaten anything for a while, this process slows down, and we begin to feel a drop in our energy due to a drop in this cycle. One of the sugars created in this process (glucose) has a pretty big name in this game! If glucose levels drop far enough, the brain perceives this as a threat to your very existence, and so it sends out a signal warning.
The brain is different to the other organs, in that it needs glucose as its primary source of energy to work as it needs to. The other organs rely on other nutrients as well, but the brain relies heavily on glucose. When it fears the glucose isn’t coming, the brain perceives it is a threat. There is a serious co-dependency between the brain and glucose!
So you see, this is where the hanger kicks in. It is the brain’s way of making you do what it wants, and gives it what it needs. Some evidence of this process? Recall the last time you were doing something when you felt really hungry.
Did it seem a little foggy? Were ideas, words, functions, not coming readily, at the speed you required or were used to? Were you slurring slightly? This is the brain at work when glucose levels are low. Some things can become much more difficult than they would otherwise be in this situation.
When all this happens and we try to behave in society as we are generally expected to, things can go wrong! And this is the reason why! We might snap at people, or not work to our best ability when we are hungry.
That’s why it is important to fill your body with good, nutritional food, when it needs it (before you become too hungry as digestion takes time). Otherwise we risk endangering everything from our work lives, to the relationships in our personal lives. And remember – it is normal to feel hangry. So don’t beat yourself up too much. Just grab a snack!