We all know the risks of an empty stomach, from snappiness to feeling full-on “hangry”, but do you know all the ways hunger affects your brain?
A drop in blood-sugar can cause effects from confusion and loss of concentration to outright rage, all because your brain needs glucose to function and, without it, simply can’t function properly.
One study on judges showed that they were actually less favorable to defendants while they were hungry and, after lunch, were much more likely to be leniant.
Hunger also makes you impulsive, which is why when you go shopping on an empty stomach and blindly pile up your trolley with everything edible in sight.
Another study has recently shown that the pleasure-inducing act of eating can negatively affect our decision-making, so we’re more likely to make really rash decisions when we’re hungry.
Also, studies show that recklessness and risk-taking skyrocket when we’re craving snacks; in the wild, animals hunt more dangerous prey as they become increasingly desperate for food and this translates to humans, as hungry people were willing to take risky financial ventures that satisfied test subjects avoided.
And, amazingly, one study found that, particularly in women, hunger lowered their desire for sex or romance as they were too preoccupied thinking about food.
So next time you’re making a decision, arguing with someone or looking at pizza instead of your partner, it’s okay — you’re just hungry.