Video Shows How "Drunk Munchies" Are the Scientific Consequence of a Night Out

It's a vicious, delicious cycle.

It’s Saturday night, baby. You’ve had two or three or seven drinks, you’re not sure, you lost count. You had a good night (you danced briefly with that cute girl who always wears acid-washed overalls before they realized you weren’t someone else), but it’s coming to a close and you’re fast approaching your apartment in an Uber. You pass by a blurry blue and purple sign that can be none other than a Taco Bell. You are overcome by the munchies. They are undeniable and, in this moment, stronger than your common sense. You leap out of the moving car and roll safely to the sidewalk. You dust yourself off and stumble into the lobby. Cheesy Gordita Crunch Town, USA, here you come.

This unnatural consequence of drinking alcohol has long been considered an inevitable side effect. However, until recently, it’s never really been understood why. New research suggests that there is a neurological connection between bingeing booze and craving greasy, fatty foods. These two activities, it seems, are linked, with either one having the potential to lead to the other.

For the full, scientific explanation of this experience, check the video above☝️

This drunk munchy news comes out of a study done by Caitlin Coker, a graduate student at Penn State’s College of medicine. Her research suggests that a shared circuit in the brain could be the reason why heavy drinking and high-fat “junk food” cravings go hand in hand. Both activities are part of a cycle of brain activity that uses the same underlying neurocircuitry, and could even be connected to other forms of binge behavior.

“What we think is happening is that the high-fat diet binges are modulating intake neurocircuitry to be sensitized to subsequent modulation by alcohol to further increase intake,” Coker says.

Wow, that’s a lot of science jargon! Basically, if you binge one substance, the shared wired in your brain becomes sensitized, allowing an increase in the other substance.

So just remember this the next time you go out for a night of heavy drinking and find yourself craving a cheesy gordita crunch. These two compulsions are linked, and the only way to manage one is to manage the other.