A new study revealed that the best thirst quenchers are drinks that are bubbly and cold.
In the study conducted by researchers from the Monell Center, results showed that cold liquid reduced thirst more effectively than room temperature liquid. Something bubbly added to a cold beverage also enhanced the beverage’s thirst quenching properties. These results support the specific effects of cold and carbonation on thirst reduction.
“Our results confirmed what people tend to naturally do when they are thirsty: drink a cold and often carbonated beverage to feel a sensation of relief,” said Catherine Peyrot des Gachons, PhD, also a sensory biologist at Monell and the study’s lead author.
The Study and Key Results
To probe several oral sensations to find which have an impact on thirst and influence the amount of liquid people drink, the researchers invited 98 healthy individuals between the ages of 20 and 50 to participate in the experiments.
To induce thirst, participants abstained from liquid and food overnight and then ate a small breakfast of toast and jelly. At this point, the participants rated their thirst as ‘strong.’ Each then had five minutes to drink 400 ml (13.5 oz) of water under one of four conditions, varying temperature (room-temperature or cold refrigerator-temperature) and carbonation (plain or carbonated).
Then, after a short rest, the participants were allowed to drink as much plain (non-carbonated, room temperature) water as they wished.
By measuring how much plain water was consumed after the experimental beverage, the researchers could assess how well the experimental beverage had quenched participants’ thirst.
Now, here are the key results. The researchers found that drinks that are cold and carbonated are the best thirst quenchers.
In addition, using menthol to chemically create the sensation of cooling had a similar thirst quenching effect to the water actually being at a cold temperature.
What is Next?
The researchers said the key results could help guide sensory approaches to increase fluid intake in populations at risk of dehydration, including the elderly, soldiers, and athletes. One of these could be a development of beverages or techniques that improve hydration in at-risk populations.