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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How Food Goes Down In The Open Water

We wrote about the ever-changing bliss point, mouthfeel, and flavor burst of foods and hydration in various types of conditions of open bodies of water here.

That is, how foods and drinks taste on land is often different than what these same foods and drinks taste like while consuming in the open water.

One interesting phenomenon that is somewhat similar on land as it is in the water on some occasions is the concept of vanishing caloric density. In the junk food market and packaged food industry, this concept of vanishing caloric density is a driver of revenue and profitability. Generally speaking, the food scientists try to create snack foods with a vanishing caloric density that ultimately leads to greater sales.

That is, food scientists and marketers what your brain to be fooled that you are hardly consuming any calories at all when the food enters your mouth and is quickly consumed. Think of popcorn or potato chips or tiny slivers of sweets. This concept of vanishing caloric density leads to continue snacking without much thought.

Similarly in marathon races or fast-paced channel swims when the food is quickly consumed, the water is rough or of high salinity, or your mind is on something else (e.g., the instructions spoken by your coach on board the escort boat or your positive relative to your competition), the phenomenon of vanishing caloric density is experienced. That is, after your put the food or drink in your mouth, within seconds it does not seem that much was consumed at all.

But the break in action or stroke usually provides a welcomed respite from the swim, and the combination with foods and hydration generally gives you a significant boost from the feeding stop.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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