Brain Post: Why You Eat When You’re Drunk

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Drunken eating.  photo:  jim naughten/getty images
Drunken eating. photo: jim naughten/getty images

We’ve all done this.  You have a few drinks (or more) and you come home and eat like crazy.  It makes sense because it seems to help dilute the booze, help you sleep, and make you less hung over in the morning, right?  Not exactly.

Amazingly, researchers in the UK, Holland, USA, and Spain have been looking into this stuff (who funds these studies?).  Men’s Health complied information from 4 separate studies about the relation between alcohol consumption and eating habits this week.  The findings are very interesting:



1.  You Feel Less Full

– “Alcohol calories aren’t recognized by the body, write the researchers from a Dutch study. One theory: Since alcohol is a toxin, your body wants to metabolize it as quickly as possible, which is why you don’t feel full from alcohol calories, according to other research.”Men’s Health

2.  Your Happy Memories Trick You

– “A Northwestern University study found that alcohol only increased food consumption when people knew they were drinking an alcoholic beverage, suggesting that the cravings aren’t only physical—the social context could play a role, explain the researchers.  Meaning, you might associate friends and alcohol with greasy food, making you want it more.” – Men’s Health

3.  It Makes Junk Food Taste Amazing

“A study conducted by Purdue University found that moderate consumption of alcohol enhances the taste of salt and fat, which is why that cheese pizza tastes so friggin’ good.” – Men’s Health


There you have it.  Booze makes you eat because of sensory, psychologic, and flavor enhancement factors.  How should you fight it?  Just drink less, and you’ll eat less.  A U.K. study that just came out found that men who drank 1-2 alcoholic drinks a day ate about 30% more than men who didn’t drink.

Depressing news for drinkers, unless you love drunk food:  The 10 Most Delicious Food When You’re Drunk.

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