by Graham Pierrepoint
Many of us have been there – after having a drink too many on an evening, we can start to feel oddly hungry – despite the high calorie content in many alcoholic drinks and regardless of what we may have consumed earlier in the day. Widely regarded as the ‘alcohol munchies’, it’s long been thought that a craving for junk food and greasy pizza after a few rounds of beer was simply par for the course – but now, it has emerged, science may well be able to explain your desire for a deep pan pepperoni after a night on the town.
It has been established during lab testing that alcohol appears to directly stimulate the neutrons in the brain in a particular way – in a fashion that is normally only found when the brain informs the body to go into ‘starvation mode’. Essentially, scientists have concluded that testing on mice shows that rather than hunger coming into play as a natural lack of restraint, it is activated as a direct response from neutrons – meaning that the way we have been looking at alcohol’s effects on our bodies may well be set to change.
What this means is, from the tests’ conclusions, that alcohol could well be an appetite stimulant – that it provokes our brains in such a way that they believe our bodies to be in dire need of nutrition, regardless of the calories we have already taken on – this explains why, at least, many of us seem to have room for a take-away after several rounds of beer! It may also, many hope, lead the way into deeper thinking on the causes and prevention of widespread obesity in adults – and the study’s findings may encourage a change to the way in which alcohol is promoted, particularly in young people.
Whether or not the study will have positive impacts upon the obesity crisis remains to be seen – but it is fascinating to know that alcohol, it appears, triggers something within us to want to eat more – and that, at least, will stop us from wondering why we only crave junk food the most when we have had one too many to drink! If anything, it could be a wake up call to those trying to lose weight this new year – cut down on the booze, and you may well cut down on the junk food without realizing!