I feel so vindicated right now, I'm beside myself.
When I was younger, I could not understand what my parents loved so much about seltzer water. It was bitter and fizzy, and felt bad sliding down my throat -- and, frankly, back then I thought Kool-Aid was the ultimate thirst-quencher. Either that or chocolate milk.
Once I got to college, something changed. My hunch is that I grew a taste for it after accepting one too many vodka clubs at parties, but I graduated as a lover of seltzer water.
I’ve tried foisting it upon friends and family, and all of them claim that seltzer just doesn’t do anything when it comes to quenching their thirst.
But now science is here to back me up, folks, and I couldn’t be happier. A study published Oct. 3 in the Public Library of Science's journal PLOS ONE basically confirmed that seltzer is the ultimate drink to alleviate thirst.
"We have a decent understanding of what turns thirst on, but need to better understand what turns it off so we can motivate the elderly and other at-risk populations to keep drinking their fluids," said study senior author Paul A.S. Breslin, PhD, a sensory biologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center.
Researchers studied healthy participants between the ages of 20 and 50, and determined just how effective different beverages actually were at curing thirst by measuring how much water subjects reached for after drinking certain beverages.
"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 study lead author Catherine Peyrot des Gachons, PhD, also a sensory biologist at Monell.
The factors that determined how hydrated participants felt were the temperature and carbonation level of the beverage, rather than the acidity or sweetness. Basically, you don’t want flat water, lukewarm water or soda when you’re looking for a hangover cure; a nice glass of chilled seltzer should do the trick.
Moving forward, the researchers want to begin exploring which sensory cues actually trigger a desire to drink; they hope to eventually help improve hydration in at-risk populations, including soldiers, athletes and the elderly.