Why Do People Get “Hangry?”

Hunger can have a big effect on your thinking and behavior. Many people have experienced the way hunger can make them feel impatient, annoyed, or short-tempered. This phenomenon of being hungry and angry is commonly referred to as “hangry." When you haven’t eaten for a while, the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood decreases. When your blood sugar gets too low, it triggers a cascade of hormones, including cortisol (a stress hormone) and adrenaline (the fight-or-flight hormone). These hormones are released into your bloodstream to raise and balance your blood sugar. Cortisol can cause aggression in some people, and low blood sugar may interfere with higher brain functions, such as those that help us control impulses and regulate our behavior. So, there truly is a medical explanation for being hangry. It’s a biochemical reaction due to low blood sugar — not the same thing as being crabby when you’re tired, sick or otherwise feeling out of sorts. People who struggle with controlling their anger or who have impulse-control issues may be more susceptible to becoming hangry. So, how do you avoid becoming hangry? The short answer is to never skip a meal, regardless of how busy you are. Eat several small meals throughout the day, or at least make sure breakfast, lunch and dinner are balanced with nutrients. Avoid junk food, which can cause another sugar crash. Instead, chooseg high-fiber foods to keep you feeling fuller longer. Needless to say, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and stay hydrated. Your body will thank you……and so will your friends and family.