An Argument for Between-Meal Snacking
I try not to do anything on an empty stomach, but that goes doubly for decision making. That cranky, ravenous state has never been conducive to good choices and recent research has coincided with my findings. A 2008 study conducted jointly by Cambridge University and UCLA and published in Science controlled the diets of twenty participants to alter their serotonin levels and asked them to play a game. The game involved one player offering to share a portion of money with another player. If both accepted the offer, both got at least some amount of money; if the offer was rejected, no one benefited.
Under normal conditions, people generally rejected offers under one third of the total portion about 50 percent of the time. But when their serotonin levels were lower, rejection percentage increased to 80. People were more likely to act aggressively and carelessly when lacking serotonin, the feel-good chemical our brains make from tryptophan, an amino acid only found in foods like poultry, dairy, nuts, bananas, and shellfish. So when people are between meals and hungry, serotonin levels dip and crankiness–and rash decision making–increases.
Related: Best Snacks to Boost Your Mood