If you're feeling uncomfortably thirsty, you may want to grab a La Croix, or so suggests a new study that looks at the "Perception of Drinking and Thirst Quenching in Thirsty Adults." Science Daily explains the assumption that rehydration alleviates thirst isn't really true: "In actuality thirst is relieved, and the act of drinking ceases, long before a consumed liquid is absorbed by the body." As for what does relieve our thirst, researchers with the Monell Center in Philadelphia have identified two sensory cues in our mouths: People tend to feel more quenched after they drink cold water than room temp, and carbonation enhances that effect.
Reporting in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers write that they had 98 healthy participants aged 20 to 50 abstain from any food or fluid intake overnight before eating toast and jelly. At this point the subjects rated their thirst as "strong" and were allotted five minutes to drink 13.5 fluid ounces of water that was either room temperature or cold and either flat or bubbly. Five minutes later, they could drink as much plain water as they wished. Turns out those who drank the cold seltzer water felt the most quenched and required less water later, confirming that the combo provides the greatest "sensation of relief," the study's lead author says. So even though the bubbles aren't actually more hydrating, as Mashable reports, the fizz is more convincing, a trick that could prove useful in situations where thirst must be quenched with limited supply. (This boy never feels thirsty or hungry.)