I know you’re already waiting for the catch, and we’ll get there. While you can’t start drinking all the decked out, Black Tap milkshakes that you want, the headline isn’t complete BS. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition did reveal that milkshakes could help you feel fuller.
The researchers wanted to study the relative effect of a drink’s thickness and caloric density (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?).
Participants each drank four 500 mL milkshakes that varied based on thickness and caloric density. They then 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 thickness and caloric density both impact fullness but in different ways. They found that thickness of the shake had a larger impact on people’s perceived fullness. Unsurprisingly, thicker shakes made them feel fuller.
The caloric density of the shake had a larger impact on GE. More calorie-dense shakes took longer to empty out of participants’ stomachs and therefore kept them feeling fuller longer. Basically, drinks that are thick and calorie-dense will stay in your stomach and make you feel fuller for longer than with thinner, less dense drinks.
If you’re a soda or juice person, this could be good news for you. These results show why these liquid drinks leave you feeling so unsatisfied. A small but thick 200 calorie milkshake could make and keep you fuller than a can of soda with the same amount of calories.
Of course, this does not mean that you will lose weight. if you ignore your stomach’s natural signals and continue to eat anyway, then how full the milkshake makes you feel doesn’t really matter. They will still be wasted calories.
Also, for these results to help you lose weight, you can only use milkshakes as a replacement for thinner, less calorie-dense liquids. Adding milkshakes to your diet, drinking them on top of other drinks, or using them to replace real food will just make you consume more calories (and more importantly sugar).
So next time you want to grab a soda, try making a smaller milkshake with the same amount of calories instead. Doing so may leave you fuller and less likely to crave more snacks later on. It’s only a tiny baby step in the right direction, but every healthy choice you make (even when that choice is a milkshake), counts for something.