Ever wondered why your mouth starts to water at the very sight of that dodgy-looking fish and chip shop after a few wines?
Well, according to a new study, drinking alcohol flips the brain into starvation mode, making junk foods (or any food for that matter) appear irresistible.
While this particular study was conducted on mice, the UK researchers, who published their findings in the journal Nature Communications, don’t doubt that knocking back a few bubblies would have the same effect in humans.
Led by London’s Francis Crick Institute, the study found that alcohol consumption triggered neurons in the brain “normally activated by starvation and evoke intense hunger”.
The mice were given the human equivalent of around two bottles of wine over three days, which led them to eat 15 – 20 per cent more than those who only drank a saline solution.
While researchers previously thought that alcohol encouraged people to lose their inhibitions and make more reckless decisions when it came to food choices, the findings prove that there’s a lot more to it.
“This study shows that an important starvation pathway in the brain is activated by alcohol," says Dr Tony Goldstone from the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London.
“This is a paradoxical effect even when someone is not starving and has just consumed alcohol which contains calories.”
Well, at least now we know why every celeb looks forward to In-N-Out Burgers after awards shows!