Sweet Sweat

Man sweating and drinking yellow-colored fluid.

Need a boost to get through your workout?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying – just one more mile!

It can be hard to drag ourselves to the gym! But a sweet trick may help. Studies have shown that rinsing your mouth with a sugary drink can enhance exercise performance. It makes our brains think we consumed sugar. But are there other ways to fool ourselves into a better workout?

Daniel Brown from Loughborough College and colleagues RAN to investigate! 

They had ten volunteers run on a treadmill for thirty minutes. While running, the participants rinsed their mouths with a sweetened mouthwash. For one trial, the mouthwash was clear and for the second it was dyed pink. 

And? With the pink mouthwash, participants ran almost five percent faster and self-reported greater pleasure. All participants also reported that the pink drink seemed to taste sweeter. 

By connecting pink with sweetness, researchers believe seeing pink may activate our brain’s reward centers. This can make exercising more enjoyable!

Looks like TASTE is also in the eye of the beholder. 

Reference: Brown, D. R., Cappozzo, F., De Roeck, D., Zariwala, M. G., & Deb, S. K. (2021). Mouth Rinsing With a Pink Non-caloric, Artificially-Sweetened Solution Improves Self-Paced Running Performance and Feelings of Pleasure in Habitually Active Individuals. Frontiers in Nutrition, 8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2021.678105