A 2016 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed an interesting discovery about the indulgent desserts you know and love: milkshakes can actually help you feel fuller. Researchers wanted to study the relative effect of a drink’s thickness and caloric density (meaning calories per milliliter) on a person’s fullness. So, to study which factor impacted fullness more, they hired people to drink milkshakes (where exactly do you go to sign up for experiments like this?)!

ice cream, cream, ice, chocolate, dairy product
Jayna Goldstein

Participants each drank four 500 mL milkshakes that varied based on thickness and density. Then, they rated how full they felt for the 90 minutes after drinking the shake. The researchers also measured “gastric emptying time” (GE), or how long it took the shake to make its way through the participant’s stomach.

Their results showed that the thickness of the shake had a larger impact on people’s perceived fullness. Meanwhile, the density of the shake had a larger impact on GE — meaning that because it took longer to digest, the milkshake kept participants feeling fuller for longer. 

dairy product, milk, sweet, cream, chocolate, coffee
Jayna Goldstein

If you’re a soda or juice person, these results may give a clue as to why quick liquid drinks often leave you feeling unsatisfied, despite their tastiness! A small but thick milkshake could make and keep you fuller than a can of soda. No matter what yummy drink or dessert tickles your fancy, remember not to ignore your stomach’s natural signals and enjoy! 

cream, chocolate, ice, milk, sweet, milkshake, dairy product, ice cream
Jocelyn Gordon