We all know the feeling: It's nearly 11:30 a.m., and the time stretch between your early morning breakfast wrap and your mid-afternoon sandwich becomes too much to bear; you're starving. Rather than haphazardly reaching for the nearest edible item, science says that the trick to staving off mid-morning hunger can be found within a thick, hearty beverage—emphasis on the "thick."
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a thick beverage, regardless of calorie count, is the best way to stay fuller longer. Researchers had volunteers drink four different smoothies: one thick with a high calorie count, one watery with a high calorie count, one thick with a low calorie count, and one watery with a high calorie count. The drinks were all the same size and had the same nutritional makeup.
After consumption, the researchers scanned the participants' stomachs in an MRI machine and asked them questions about their feelings of fullness. As it turns out, thickness, not calorie count, more directly influenced feelings of fullness across the board—a phenomenon the researchers dubbed "phantom fullness."
"Our results show that increasing the viscosity is less effective than increasing the energy density in slowing gastric emptying. However, the viscosity is more important to increase the perceived fullness," wrote the researchers. In layman's terms, calories alone won't satisfy your hunger—opt for the thicker smoothie if you want to stay full until noon.
Want to integrate thick smoothies into your morning routine? Shop this blender from Williams-Sonoma and share your favorite recipe below.