The Truth About Drinks


I remember many years ago going to a Sports Nutrition Conference and never forgetting the message. I heard a researcher named Richard Mattes speak about some cutting edge research he was conducting about how our bodies responded differently to liquid calories. I found the research fascinating. The bottom line message was that when we eat solid food, our brains get the message that we had enough calories and so we feel full and stop eating. His theory was that with liquid calories, we did not get the same message, and so our brain allowed us to keep drinking and take in excessive energy which eventually would result in weight gain.

Recently, I did a search and found that Dr. Mattes has not only been continuing this research, but has strengthened his earlier theory that liquid calories do not register in our brains. What is the important message here? If you fill up on drinks such as juice, soda, beer, wine or lemonade, it will be impossible to listen to your body as far as how much you need to eat. Instead, drink water to quench your thirst (free and healthy!) and limit juices and soda to once in a while instead of daily. Limit alcohol to social occasions and in moderation.

See below if you are interested in the dirty details!

Beverage vs. solid fruits and vegetables: effects on energy intake and body weight.



Volume 20, Issue 9, pages 1844–1850, September 2012

According to  Elizabeth Garrison  in “A summary of Richard Mattes’ research since 2005: Effects of food form, feeding patterns, and specific nutrients on appetite, satiety, and metabolic responses in humans”:

Differences in food form, beverage versus solid, elicit different appetitive, satiety, and hormonal responses. Solid foods, matched on energy content and macronutrient composition elicited lower levels of hunger and desire to eat. Additionally, solid and liquid meal replacements caused different ghrelin, insulin, and CCK responses, all hormones involved with regulation of food intake and body weight. Specifically and most importantly, beverages cause greater levels of ghrelin, a hormone that initiates hunger and desire to eat, after a meal than solids. Therefore beverage and solid meal replacements should not be used interchangeably for weight control or energy balance.

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