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Here’s Why You Get The Munchies When You Drink

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There’s a reason late night food establishments exist. No, people aren’t just in the mood for a midnight snack. Fast food joints aren’t open late for the people working the night shift. It’s all for drunk people.

Nothing is better than some good, greasy food when you’ve been drinking. My scale at the end of freshman year could attest to this, as I gained right around the cliché 15 pounds. While we all already knew that drinking gives you the munchies, scientists just had to prove it.

Researchers at London’s Francis Crick Institute, through experiments on mice, were able to find that booze pretty much tricks your brain into thinking you’re starving.


The fact that people eat more when they drink is “puzzling, because alcohol (ethanol) is a calorie-dense nutrient, and calorie intake usually suppresses brain appetite signals,” the study abstract states. Not with those alcohol calories, though, thanks to a little brain neuron called AgRP. When the brain fires off AgRP, you get hungry.

In essence, booze makes your brain release a transmitter (AgRP), and this transmitter makes your body think it’s starving, and then your body catches a ride to Taco Bell and orders $30 worth of food. It’s not your fault you’ve gained a few pounds. It’s the fucking AgRPs. Simple science.

Admittedly, I always assumed you get hungry when you drink because of a combination of weakened self control and drunken feats of strength, but I’m willing to let the professionals, albeit professionals who got a bunch of mice drunk, tell me otherwise.

[via Vinepair]

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