Why Do You Get Hangry?

This episode of SciShow is sponsored by Snickers. It’s not. Though it should be! Get on it, Snickers! [♪INTRO] It’s happened to the best of us. It’s close to dinner time, your stomach
is grumbling… All of a sudden your significant other’s
foot tapping becomes too much to bear, and you lash out. Your partner has fallen victim to hanger,
the grumpiness you feel when you are hungry. And it isn’t an excuse—it’s an actual
physiological and psychological phenomenon. Science has shown that hanger is real. For example, people jab more pins into a voodoo doll of their spouses or choose to blast loud noises at their partner when their blood glucose levels are low. Psychologists think that this may be because hunger impairs self-control. Not acting impulsively takes brainpower, and when the brain’s low on fuel, it just doesn’t have the energy to hold back. Another explanation is that hanger is basically a mistake your brain makes when you’re not sure what’s causing your body to feel bad. That’s because some psychologists think
feeling emotions is actually a combination of what’s physically going on in your body
and what your mind thinks is the reason for that. So if you don’t realize what’s making
you feel off, you might pick a different emotion. When you haven’t eaten in a while, you might attribute your rumbling stomach, tiredness and fuzzy head to other feelings that cause those reactions, like stress or even anger. No really—this is a thing. Scientists have shown that this can happen. For example, experimenters in a 2016 study irked 236 college students by making the computer they were using crash. Those that had fasted before the test reacted more negatively, seeming to add their hunger-related feelings to the frustration induced by the tech glitch. They even reported more hatred towards the experimenter. Hatred! And that might sound extreme, but it’s an
honest mistake, because hunger and anger look a lot alike physiologically. Some of the same brain regions are activated both when you feel angry and when you’re hungry. And that’s because the same brain chemical, a tiny protein called neuropeptide Y, both prompts your body to eat when your energy reserves are low and regulates aggression. Actually, it makes a lot of sense, because
hunger is your brain’s way of signaling the release of hormones that increase the amount of glucose into your bloodstream so that your tissues don’t starve. And those same hormones are released in stressful situations, when a boost of glucose could help you outmuscle a predator or run away. And the connection between hunger and aggression might be more than a bodily coincidence. For our ancestors, food wasn’t always a
reliable thing. Their feelings of hunger were a sign that
food was scarce, so whatever they found when hungry was probably worth fighting for. Being hangrier, and thus more aggressive about securing meals, might have helped them get the fuel they needed to outcompete more complacently hungry rivals. And the legacy of that hanger lives on in
us today. So the next time you feel yourself about to bubble over with frustration, remember: It may be your body’s way of decoding your empty stomach. So go eat a snack! But not a Snickers. Yet. Thanks for asking, and thank you to our actual President of Space today, who would just like us to say that it’s “Not SR Foxley.” It’s usually SR Foxley, but this time it
isn’t, and that’s the only thing that this person wanted us to say. Without our Patreon patrons, like SR Foxley and also Not SR Foxley, we wouldn’t be able to make SciShow and answer all of your maddening questions about the universe. Thank you to all those people. Everyone except Snickers. [♪OUTRO]

100 thoughts on “Why Do You Get Hangry?”

  1. you got parasites in your small intestines telling you when to eat, cause when theyre hungry your hungry they control you!

  2. Steal a coworker's lunch, if you are not sure this is true, and then watch the sparks fly. It is almost a life-threatening event.

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  4. its funny when im actually really hungry or hangry if i eat somthing like snickers i feel really crazy and it tastes really good but then i get a super bad stomach like my belly is now angry so yeah dont eat snickers first eat normal food then snickers when hangry

  5. I dont turn into a crab ass when Im hungry or didn't sleep enough or whatever. I identify that its my own problem and I don't like making it other people's problem also. It's a little selfish

  6. If it is a factor in regulating aggression it makes me wonder if it is different between wild animals and domesticated animals. Assuming that humans are not alone in experiencing "hanger"

  7. Not sure if there are studies on it but I've also seen/experienced a kind of extra aggression surrounding hunger that springs from insecurity about actually getting food at all…it's apparently a thing. If you seriously went hungry as a kid, it's a very real thing.
    (I'm not talking about "go to bed without dinner" here, which should be obvious; I'm talking "I have had one hot dog in the last two days" levels of going without, which sadly a LOT of kids suffer through at least once – and a whole lot of adults suffer through even as I'm typing this.)
    And I would very much agree that the "lizard brain" strongly affects the reaction.

    Fortunately if you know you might get like this, you can at least try to curb the reaction and get that snack before dinner!

  8. Well I experience this in a more extreme way, if I eat carbs especially if they are liquid a few hours later I get light headed I start trembling and sweating , my blood sugar it is so low that my adrenal glands have to kick in to save me and use the stored glucose in the liver so my brain can be fed with enough glucose so I don't die?maybe …..IT IS QUITE FUN EXPERIENCE

  9. Hank, unfortunately I have been ordered to attend anger management classes, I'm almost done and actually I'm glad I had to go. I had to show my counselor this video.He's a pretty good guy. When I told him about it he was extremely interested.Thanks for a great job!

  10. OMG, that definition and animation of emotion is so spot on! And people let themselves be controlled by their emotions every single day!

  11. Then why do I someone with a very addictive personality, who eats sometimes worse but generally just better than P.O.W. in Germany during WWII, have a at least normal amount self control? And no I am not exaggerating I don't know why I do this.

  12. someone should make a snickers commercial where explorers are trying to cross a Piranha infested river, and the Piranhas are in a frenzy, so one of the explorers drops a snickers in the water, which immediately pacifies the starving Piranhas.
    Snickers. You're not you when you're hungry

  13. Another explanation might be that Anger is a response, in a general sense, to not having your needs met, so being angry when you're hungry isn't that far away

  14. "Not SR Foxley" hype!
    Still funny; well played, "Not SR Foxley!"

    The best part, might actually be, when Hank said:
    "Without our patreon patrons, like SR Foxley, and also Not SR Foxley…"

  15. I'd be very curious what the results would be from the studies if the subjects were on ketogenic diets. Hunger is minimized and not nearly so overwhelming emotionally on a keto diet. So I have a sneaking suspicion it wouldn't be nearly as bad.

  16. Hunger is your body telling you that you need food. Food is needed for survival. When this apparent need is not met, you can react or feel a variety of negative ways because of a drop in blood sugar, or other emotions like anger as a response to the stress of not having food. After all, your body views it as a life threatening situation to not have food, so stress makes sense.

  17. I like to go to a pumpkin festival every year, and I've started bringing stuff to eat because I realized that, almost like clockwork, my mood would seriously tank a few hours in. I didn't realize it was hanger at first kuz I was hungry, but not THAT hungry. But bringing food helps kuz I'll be damned if I waste more time and money on the food vendors for another shitty, under-cooked sausage…oh sorry. Got a bit carried away there. 😛 I'm in the middle of fixing some hanger right now.

  18. Cool thing: I worked with one of the researchers whose study is mentioned in this video. Yay, science!

  19. I have found that I make a similar mistake when I have a low-level headache. A full-on headache doesn't have the same effect.

  20. When you are feeling bad, it is good to use the acronym HALT, which stands for something, but at least the word works, too. Stop and think if there is a physiological reason that you feel bad. Hunger, Appetite, Lonely, Tired/Toilet. Did you forget to take your meds? Do you tend to have emotional reactions with your menstrual cycle?
    I find that even if I can’t fix the problem, I still feel much better, because I don’t have to also worry that something is wrong and I’m going to feel this way forever.
    This also works the opposite way! Sometimes I am feeling bad physically, like a stomachache, and I can use that to deduce that I am having an emotional reaction to something, and then act accordingly.

  21. Last time i got hangry i made my neighbor expire with my k bar. I used the sowing needle on him then dumped him in the woods after dismembering him in my yard

  22. I get hangry when I forget to take my medication… basically I take it every morning to help me focus better, but sometimes there will be that rare occasion when I forget to take it, and since my medication also suppresses my appetite a little bit (it's a side effect), I feel extra hangry when I don't take it and I'm just waiting for lunchtime to come 😂😂

  23. for me when i getting hungry i start to feel pain ,and when i am in pain it make me angry ,but as soon as it happen i go eat something but ye i cant imagine if without food pepoles can get out of control.

  24. I say hanger comes from a primal need to eat. If you’re more aggressive, you’re more likely to get that meal. Or fight off the bully ape not letting you get the mangos from the tree….. just a thought

  25. I wonder how much of this is just a play on Snickers' "You're not you when you're hungry" thing and how much is a reaction to Snickers sending 300+ bars to John and NOTHING to Hank. XD

  26. I always thought it's so we're more vicious when hungry. I'm the worst hangry person ever to be honest

  27. I noticed your asterisk. You should totally do a Scishow psych from the contested side. Debate yourself 😂

  28. So it took a science channel on YouTube to explain what a bunch of teenagers figure out for themselves regularly while waiting for that god damned delivery guy to finally arrive…!!!

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