The drunchies, a portmanteau of 'drunk' and 'munchies', are a scientifically proven side effect of alcohol consumption, according to research by Professor Jessica Kruger from the University of New York.
The research proves how hard it is to resist unhealthy foods after drinking alcohol, with the first hunger pangs usually occurring after the first few drinks.
Although the research focuses entirely on the drinking and eating patterns of American students, linking the two activities with increasing obesity levels, it puts what many drinkers experience on a night out into perspective.
Kebab, pizza, burgers and chips
Cravings for kebabs, pizza, burgers and chips, are, the study shows, a natural side effect of drinking alcohol, as blood sugar levels drop significantly after a few drinks.
So strong are the junk food cravings that thoughts of drinking water or another soft drink before bed fly out of the window completely, as the body demands food.
Kruger said: “Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for unhealthy dietary behaviours and obesity.
“We demonstrate [in the study] that the foods consumed when drinking alcohol are less healthy than what the same individuals consume at other times.
“Consumption of fruits and vegetables is lower and consumption of junk foods is higher compared with dietary behaviours at other times.”
Relationship between alcohol and food
The professor added that the findings clarified the relationship between alcohol consumption and eating junk food.
“Participants reported that their food cravings were more frequent and more intense when they consumed alcohol compared with other times,” she said.
“Participants were less likely to consume nutritious foods and more likely to consume junk foods when they consumed alcohol compared with other times.”
Those who took part in the study also claimed they craved food 58% of the time when drinking alcohol and 57% of the time they would eat what they were craving, which was an unhealthy food.