Have you ever noticed that feeling of irrational anger bubbling up inside you when your stomach starts to grumble?
The combination of hunger and anger is often jokingly referred to as "hangry" but if you thought this slang term had no basis in facts, you’d be wrong.
It turns out that hangry is no joking matter, in fact, scientists say it is very real.
The world of science already knows that our blood sugar levels drop when we don't eat, causing irritability, weakness, loss of concentration and nausea.
But now researchers at The University of North Carolina have found that low blood sugar levels trigger the release of stress-related hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and neuropeptide.
The study surveyed 400 people online who were shown an ambiguous image. The participants were asked to rate the picture on a 7-point scale from pleasant to unpleasant. The participants were also asked to rate their hunger.
The results, published in the journal Emotion showed that the hungrier the participants were, the more likely they were to score the neutral image as 'unpleasant'.
It turns out, all the hormones that trigger hunger are the same ones that trigger our anger and rage, which does not bode well for the poor innocents that happen to cross our path when we’re hungry.
Sophie Medlin, a lecturer in nutrition and dietetics at Kings College London told BBC Radio:
“The [chemicals in the brain] that trigger for hunger are the same ones that trigger for anger and rage and impulsive type behaviours. So that’s why you get that sort of same response.”
We will take this as definitive proof we cannot be held responsible for what we say when we're hangry.