Washington: Food tastes better when you are sitting down, say scientists who found that holding a standing posture for even a few minutes prompts physical stress, muting taste buds. The research, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, looked specifically at how the vestibular sense, which is responsible for balance, posture and spatial orientation, interacts with the gustatory sensory system, which impacts taste and flavour.
According to the study led by Dipayan Biswas, a professor at University of South Florida in the US, the force of gravity pushes blood to the lower parts of the body, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood back up to the top of the body, accelerating heart rate. This activates the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and leads to increased concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol. This chain reaction reduces sensory sensitivity, which impacts food and beverage taste evaluation, food temperature perception and overall consumption volume.