Inspired by Dr. Weinstein — What defines a beverage as tasty?


I have always been curious on what exactly defines a beverage as ‘tasty’. For many individuals it may be as simple as a cold glass of water. Others may be keen to a fresh cracked soda, coffee, Red Bull, or even an alcoholic beverage. Earlier in the semester another student asked a question about how you like your coffee and whether that is linked to a genetic predisposition, that question inspired this post more or less. This is also linked to my fascination on what Dr. Weinstein defines as a tasty beverage, as he mentions almost every day in class.


According to this article I found by MSN, there was research conducted on hot chocolate and there is evidence linked that it can make you more focused. I then dove deeper and found the journal published on this study which was conducted on 18 males between the ages of 18 and 40, all of which were considered healthy. They made the conclusion that dietary flavanols improved the cerebral cortical oxygenation and the cognition within these adults studied. However, this was only when the cognitive performance demand was high, meaning if you didn’t need much brain power there was no difference. Dietary strategies have been a large part of trying to enhance physical and cognitive performance, I was certainly surprised to find that hot chocolate of all things is linked to cognitive improvement.


Genetically speaking we do have genes that affect how we perceive sweetness. They are located on the receptors TAS1R2 and TAS1R3. A study was conducted on twins back in 2004 on Intensity ratings of sugars and high potency sweeteners. It has also shown that age has an effect on how we perceive taste. So perhaps what we find sweet, our grandparents may find not so sweet.

Final thoughts

Personally I enjoy a cold, crisp glass of water with no ice but that could be because I am prone to cavities when it comes to sweet drinks like soda or coffee. This has even shown to be somewhat linked genetically. My final statement or question to leave you with — what is your favorite beverage and is there a genetic link behind it?

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