Alcohol Makes Food Smell Better, According To Study That Totally Explains All Your Drunk Habits

During the day, you pass by that kebab stand without so much as a second glance... but once you’ve got some alcohol in you, that greasy kebab starts smelling like a delicious feast you have to have in your mouth like right now, right? If I just described your weekly struggle, don’t despair — a new study says that alcohol makes food smell better, which could explain why drunk people go weak at the knees at the sight of Taco Bell.

Although you may have previously thought that you eat everything in your path when drunk because alcohol lowers your inhibitions and ability to make good choices, this study suggests that may not be all that’s going on. Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine set out to determine what role the brain plays in mediating calorie intake after drinking alcohol, independently of the digestive system — and their results are pretty eye-opening.

In order to test the whole thing out, William J.A. Eiler II and colleagues used 35 female participants. In order to learn about the effects of alcohol and the brain without involving the digestive system, they gave subjects alcohol intravenously before they ate on one visit. Then, for the control, they brought the same subjects back for another visit and gave them saline intravenously before eating. Researchers took fMRI scans of participants’ brains to look at their brain’s responses to both food and non-food aromas. After the fMRI’s were taken, the participants were offered lunch. They found that, on average, participants who consumed alcohol ate more at lunch.

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OK, we kind of already knew that we tend to pig out after a few glasses (or in this case, IVs) of wine, so where does the sense of smell play in? Well, remember that brain imaging the researchers took? They found that when the women were given alcohol vs. saline, their brains responded more to food odors than non-food odors. So this could mean that your drunk brain may make you more sensitive to food smells, hence why you can only stand to set foot inside Waffle House when you’re wasted. The researchers did say that further studies need to be done to get a better idea of the precise mechanism in the brain that affects food reward, but for now you can blame that late-night binge on the a-a-a-a-a-a-lcohol.

Alcohol is pretty crazy because a lot of us drink it regularly with little to no regard for what it does to our bodies (aside from make us drunk and/or hungover). Here are some more crazy things alcohol does to you that you probably weren't aware of when you took those July 4th shots:

1. It makes you pee.

I'm not talking about "breaking the seal," either. Basically, alcohol messes with your endocrine system and makes it so that your kidneys don't filter enough water out of your pee. In turn, you end up peeing out a ton of water (and it often appears clear so you think you're hydrated, but you're not), and since you're drinking a bunch of liquid, you have to go a lot. So, just think about that.

2. It makes you... uh... number two.

It's official: you're not alone in your need to race to the bathroom the second you wake up from a night of drinking. That's because the ethanol in alcohol sends your digestive system into high gear, which in turn gives the colon less time to absorb water, making your stool watery. Lovely, right?

3. It makes you tired.

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You might drink a glass of wine to help you fall asleep every so often, but you should probably cut it out. Although you might pass out faster with a little help from your good friend, alcohol, you'll get worse sleep overall. Think less of the restorative REM sleep your body needs, and the more you drink the more you'll disrupt your sleep.

Images: Giphy (3)