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Science & Technology

Pink drinks help you run faster, study claims

May 14, 2021 | Comment icon 9 comments

Is pink the secret to enhanced running ability ? Image Credit: Jonathan Steffen
The findings of a recent study have suggested that runners perform better if they consume pink liquids.
When it comes to enhancing performance when running, the color of your drink isn't exactly the first thing that springs to mind, yet according to a new study by researchers in the UK, drinking something pink can have a profound impact.

The findings indicated that runners who consumed a drink with pink coloration saw enhanced speed, distance and enjoyed the run more than those who consumed a drink that was identical in every way other than the fact that it was clear instead of pink.

"Adding a pink colorant to an artificially sweetened solution not only enhanced the perception of sweetness, but also enhanced feelings of pleasure, self-selected running speed, and distance covered during a run," said performance nutritionist Sanjoy Deb from the University of Westminster.

So what is the reason behind this perplexing effect ? According to the researchers, it is all to do with how the human brain associates the color pink with sweetness.
"Although there may be no immediate link between drink color, taste perception and performance nutrition, if the color pink is associated with perceived sweetness, and therefore expectations of sugar/carbohydrate intake, it may be plausible that the provision of a pink-colored mouth rinse during exercise may elicit a similar ergogenic [performance-enhancing] benefit to that of carbohydrate mouth rinse through a potential placebo effect," the team wrote.

"An increase in feelings of pleasure was also reported during exercise in the pink mouth rinse condition, a potential psychophysiological mechanism which may have underpinned the performance improvement reported."

It's worth noting that the number of participants involved in the study was small, however it is certainly not unreasonable to imagine that, through the placebo effect, something as simple as pink coloration can make a notable difference to someone's performance.

It's probably not worth dying all your drinks pink before going out for a run, however.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (9)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Xeno-Fish 1 year ago
Oh, oh, oh, it's magic! That placebo effect I mean.  
Comment icon #2 Posted by Nuclear Wessel 1 year ago
Comment icon #3 Posted by jethrofloyd 1 year ago
Drink pink drinks and listen to the pink floyd and you will run like a cheetah.
Comment icon #4 Posted by HandsomeGorilla 1 year ago
Rather...Run Like Hell
Comment icon #5 Posted by HandsomeGorilla 1 year ago
Well, you can also give people different food coloring and they think it's different flavors, so yea I think it's also due in part to the other being clear, as in, there's nothing noticeable in it. People just think it's water. When it's got a color to it, they think, "oh, there must be something in this!"  Why do you think all the supplements on the market are all bright colors? Because no one would buy them if they were in their natural state lol
Comment icon #6 Posted by jolko 1 year ago
How much pink gin do you need to run like usian bolt
Comment icon #7 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 1 year ago
Meh! Pink Drink can't be better than Purple Drank.
Comment icon #8 Posted by fred_mc 1 year ago
The only pink thing I remember drinking was liquid penicillin when I was a child. It tasted absolutely terrible.
Comment icon #9 Posted by toast 1 year ago
There is no reason to doubt. We all know that red Ducatis are always faster than the black, white, grey and yellow ones.

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