I came across a fascinating article today that discussed how posture can affect how we taste our food. The researcher looked at sitting vs. standing when eating and the results were so interesting!
“He found that holding a standing posture for even a few minutes prompts physical stress, muting taste buds. The force of gravity pushes blood to the lower parts of the body, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood back up to the top of the body, accelerating heart rate. This activates the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and leads to increased concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol. This chain reaction reduces sensory sensitivity, which impacts food and beverage taste evaluation, food temperature perception and overall consumption volume.”
When I read things like this, I always have to test it out for myself, so today at breakfast I decided to sit down to drink my smoothie. I immediately noticed a difference! It was crazy! I typically sit down to eat dinner with my family, but do find myself standing to eat breakfast and lunch more often. Usually I’m in a hurry during the day and don’t have much time, so I eat while doing something else. This is a good reminder to sit down and enjoy meals to the fullest.
On the reverse, the study also found that when eating foods that are less pleasant, people didn’t mind them as much.
“Researchers then provided participants classic bite-sized brownies baked at a local restaurant that were tested and widely considered pleasant tasting. Those who were sitting down rated them to be most delicious. However, when the baker altered the recipe and made the taste unpleasant by adding an extra ¼ cup of salt, the results were opposite. Participants standing up didn't notice the brownies tasting saltier to that extent, and actually rated them to have a relatively more favorable taste perception than those who sampled them while sitting down.”
Next on my to do list: hand out veggies to my kids while they’re standing! It also explains why setting out a tray of veggies on the counter is a great habit! Not only does it make it convenient, it also makes it taste better if you eat it while you stand around!
You can check out the entire article here: Science Daily
Have you ever noticed a difference in how foods taste based on your posture?