After an evening of throwing back several glasses of wine (okay, or afternoon, we’re not here to judge), you’ve may have found yourself scarfing down some greasy meal like a ravenous stray dog.
It turns out that binge eating after binge drinking isn’t prompted by our tummies, but rather, by our brains tricking us into thinking we’re hungry. Leave it to our brains to sabotage our waistline!
In a new paper published by Nature Communications, researches found that when mice were given alcohol, special neurons in the brain (called AgPR), that are also present in human brains, were activated. These particular neurons are normally reserved for when the body goes into starvation mode, which, despite your cravings for pizza after a couple pints, you are not in.
Normally, taking in calories blocks the brain’s hunger signals — except for when you drink alcohol, which is still full of calories. Believe us now when we say that alcohol-induced overeating (a.k.a. the munchies) is very much a thing?
Even in past centuries, a drink before a meal may have been a great way to stimulate appetite, but today, with obesity rates higher than ever before and literally weighing down our medical systems, that practice is less likely to lead to nourishment and more likely to lead to overindulgence.
Just another example of our evolution and biology working against us in this stimulation-rich, uber-tasty present we live in.
Sigh. It’s enough to drive us to drink… and then order another pizza.