How to Trick Your Brain Into Enjoying Plain Water

Product shot of an air up water bottle equipped with a cap

I love sparkling waterSo I’m always on the lookout for a deal at my local grocery store. The many flavors of LaCroix, Polar, Spindrift, and doing AHA always excites me I feel like a healthy alternative to juice, flavored water, and soda while still fixing my taste in the canned drinks aisle. But I was skeptical when I received a current one email about a new brand of sugar-free, zero-Calorie flavored water advertises himself as nothing but “water and air.”

Air High Debuted in Germany for the first time in 2019, and in three years the product appeared in ten countries, including the United States. The brand claim the product is “a completely new taste experience that harnesses the power of your olfactory system.”

YYou drink pure water and at the same time experience the taste of a delicious drink – just through the smell,” says the Air High website.

The press material reference “retronasal smell”, a term I’m pretty sure it didn’t exist in the marketing materials of the beverage world until now. Postnasal odor is your body’s ability to detect the taste dimensions of food and drink through your olfactory senses. I was immediately intrigued, but not entirely convinced at the same time. Can you really taste something that actually isn’t? there?

I asked the PR rep for a sample. Three days later, A beautiful orange box has arrivedfilled with a water bottle, bottle bands, various flavor capsules, and instructions.

What it’s like to drink water and air

That instructions were clear and simple enough: Fill the bottle with tap water (or any water you like), insert the straw into the mouthpiece, slide the flavor capsule along the entire length of the strawthen pull it up slightly to “activate the taste.” I admit, It took me a few minutes to figure everything out this out, but once the pod was in place, I waited for the magic to happen.

Not much happened first. I inhaled the taste of water and wondered when I would be able to “taste” the lemon zest I had just activated. After a few minutes I got frustrated and decided to put the bottle in the refrigerator. Hours later it was still there so I took it out ready to pour my water out… until my senses told me to try again.

This time the magic happened. I sipped and sipped and my brain felt like I was actually drinking lemon water, like appetizing and refreshing, like I squeezed in citrus. I don’t usually make absolute statements, but this was the best Experience I’ve ever had drinking plain water. HHow does this happen?

It’s all about the nose

We’ve long understood the connection between our senses of smell and taste, but tThe concept of using the olfactory system to “Trick” our taste buds is fairly new. Lena Jüngst and Tim Jäger were two German students working on their final project in 2016. your thesis? Neuroscience meets design. With the help of an economist, a Michelin star chef, and a Entrepreneur, Jüngst and Jäger invented a technology that uses a slanted bottle and a scent Flavor container attached to a mouthpiece. The aroma is released when you drink the water, making you think you are consuming that taste when you actually aren’t.

This is not to rave about a specific brand but I have not experienced anything like Air Oops technology Before. How are created these flavor capsules, anyway? Describe press materials a “renowned European flavor house” telling me this may be a trade secret. Fair enough. The product has made me think i drank lemon water. But is it worth it for everyone?

The cost and use of air-flavored water

In his PR kitAir Up claims it Design is about reducing waste and staying hydrated.

“Designed to promote an ethos of reducing waste while increasing water usage, our reusable bottles and durable flavor capsules ensure you stay hydrated in style,” says it says. Sounds like simple concept, until you consider the fact that you need to buy one special BPA-free slanted bottle with many peripherals.

The bottle itself comes with several parts that you can purchase separately for a total price of $62.95 including bottle body, bottle cap, mouthpiece, Straps and a taste of you Selection. Of course, you can save a few euros when you buy it starter set for $39.99, which comes with one flavor (lemon). If you want more flavor, you can buy those single sipper bundle for $49.99what’s in it two Flavors (lemon and peach).

How long each pod lasts is Air Up’s frequently asked Questions Condition that it tastes “about 1.3 gallons of water.” This also depends on how much water you drink: “If you’re drinking a gallon from your Air Up bottle every week, a pod pack of 3 will last you about 3 to 4 weeks.” Suffice it to say, there’s some upfront investment involved in using your nose to sniff your brain To deceive.

If you’re tricking your senses, does drinking more water help you?

IIt’s been almost two weeks since I received the Air Up packaging, and the lemon scent appears every time I drink this “sparkling water”. Even my partner and kids loved it. Like me, they couldn’t believe that you could actually “taste” the lemon flavor, although nothing but water is In the bottle. And yes, I’ve also found myself drinking a lot more water simply because lemon is so refreshing.

But I’m impressed with the technique that Jüngst and Jäger have created, Air Up is still a proprietary product and the user is limited to his brand Pods (and their prices). At $49.99 for a bottle and a few flavors plus the cost of each refillable pod ($7.99 each), it’s hard to justify spending so much just for flavored water, which I can only buy online, especially , because I have to pay extra for shipping. For now, flavored air will remain something of a waste and less of an item to incorporate into mine daily routine. If you are a fan of flavored water, there are others Products on the market that can offer a sugar and calorie free experience.

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