Whilst there is generally some scepticism as to whether being hangry is a real thing, or simply an excuse for bad behaviour, I think it’s safe to say that its official recognition as a word in the Oxford Dictionary solidifies its realism.
So, what do we mean by hangry?
You know that feeling between mealtimes when every little thing – the sound of your partner breathing too loudly, for example – makes you swell with a bubbling rage until smoke exhales from your nostrils and your fists clench at your sides? That probably means you’re hangry.
Whilst the science behind the feeling of hanger is still not fully understood, Katherine Basbaum, RD at UVA Health explained to Self Magazine that it is caused by the link between your brain and your blood sugar levels.
The dietician explained that the symptoms of hanger are essentially an indication that your blood sugar levels are low and, since the brain relies on glucose to function, this causes ‘brain fog’ and loss of self-control.
This mental and physical weakness causes your patience to wear thin and quickly turns irritation into rage.
The first signs of low blood sugar often include headaches, sweating, jitters and fatigue. So, if you experience any of these things, it might be a good time to grab a healthy snack.
How to avoid or resolve feeling hangry
It’s fairly obvious that if you’re feeling hangry, the first thing you should do is grab a snack but choosing the right snack is equally as important.
Many people’s first instinct is to reach for a high-carb snack such as a chocolate bar or pastry. However, the best way to cure hanger is to pair a healthy carb-loaded snack with a protein source in order to avoid another bout of hanger in quick succession.
This is because eating a carbohydrate-based snack will spike your blood sugar, rather than stabilise it.
Examples of good food pairings to cure hanger are toast with nut butter or fruit with Greek yoghurt.
Of course, hanger is not always the culprit behind your knitted eyebrows. If you continue to experience feelings of intense anger without the additional symptoms of hanger, such as fatigue or light-headedness, or you’ve just eaten, it’s likely that you’re just plain vexed.
Anger is a completely normal and valid emotion and not usually a cause for concern but if you find yourself feeling constantly angry or are otherwise worried about your mood, you need to think about its impact not just on yourself but on the people around you.
There is plenty of help available to you. Start here.
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