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When it comes to quenching thirst, nutritional scientist Paul Breslin has found, it’s all about temperature and carbonation. Sweetness? Astringency? Not so much.

If it’s cold and bubbly, a liquid is more likely to quench your thirst and be more rewarding when you’re thirsty, according to new research from Rutgers University nutritional scientist Paul Breslin. The research appears in the journal PLOS One.

This, Breslin and his collaborators say, is good news for the beverage industry, which has long touted cold, carbonated drinks as more thirst-quenching. The research may also suggest a way to help people who are particularly vulnerable to dehydration to drink more fluids. Soldiers, laborers, and elderly people are especially vulnerable to dehydration, and coldness and carbonation might make it more rewarding for them to drink more.

At the heart of the experiment is the difference between one’s thirst being quenched and one’s hydration being adequate. A thirsty person feels his thirst quenched because of sensory clues in his mouth, throat and stomach. But that water has not yet been absorbed; the brain has projected that it will be adequately absorbed.

Read more here.

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