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Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Case Against Liquid Lunches

Everyone knows your body needs hydration for optimal performance, especially during sweaty, summer months. But a new study might have you reassessing how much beverage you should actually drink.

According to a study performed at Purdue University in Indiana, subjects who "drank" a controlled lunch of specially-prepared liquid test foods ended up consuming more calories than those that ate a solid food-and-water meal. The study concluded:

All three groups consumed the most total calories on days when a meal supplement was liquid (be it milk, watermelon juice or coconut milk), consuming 12 percent to 20 percent more calories than on solid-food days. Professor Wayne Campbell says that prior studies have measured feelings of hunger but it has been "a leap of faith to believe that feelings of hunger correspond to the amount of calories consumed." This experiment stands out, he says, because calorie intake was directly measured---revealing that people drinking liquid foods later consumed more calories even though they had reported feeling just as full.

More calories are absorbed through beverage-drinking because the body does not recognize beverages as an actual food source. After all, "people may get up to to 50 percent of their calories from beverages -- but for most of human history, the only beverage was water. The idea that liquids contain nutrients, Campbell says, is one our bodies aren't yet aware of."

And you thought that double-chocolate milkshake was the only danger to your health.


DG

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