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Drinking Calories, Eating Calories

Does it matter whether your calories come from solid food or liquid? A calorie is a calorie right?

three glasses of orange juice

Photo: Casey Hussein Bisson (Flickr)

However, if the volunteers got their extra calories in a liquid they wouldn't compensate at all.

One calorie is pretty much like any other, right? When it comes to energizing your body, or storing that energy as fat, this is more or less the case; the more calories you eat, the more energy you get, or the more fat your body stores.

Where Calories Come From

It doesn’t really matter where the calories come from at this basic level. When it comes to satisfying your appetite, however, where your calories come from seems to make a big difference. Your brain is more likely to remember calories that come from solid food than calories from liquids.

Scientists tested this by serving volunteers an extra 450 calories at the beginning of the day. They then checked to see if the volunteers compensated for those extra calories by eating less than they normally would as the day progressed. It turns out, that if a volunteer was given their calories as a solid food, they would consume on average three hundred fewer calories throughout the day than they normally would.

However, if the volunteers got their extra calories in a liquid they wouldn’t compensate at all. They would consume the same number of calories in the rest of the day as they usually would, apparently ignoring the extra 450 calories they drank in the morning.

Solid Vs Liquid

In other words, our brains register calories from solid food more easily than calories from liquids. Solid foods are more likely to make us feel satiated. You should probably leave that soda in the can, and have water and a healthy snack instead, but you knew that already, didn’t you?

  • mossfam

    Good information. I need to be able to cite a source for your information. How do I find it?

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