Study: Beer Pleases The Brain Than Gatorade

A study revealed that the taste of beer, even without the intoxicating effects of alcohol, can trigger the release of a chemical in the brain called Dopamine.

The organic chemical is a neurotransmitter and hormone associated with alcohol, which plays a major role in the brain system that is responsible for reward-driven learning.

Homer Simpson beer
Homer Simpson thinks beer
According to the Los Angeles Times, the findings were recently published online in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. The study “demonstrate for the first time the important role of an alcoholic drink’s flavor, absent alcohol’s pharmacological effects,” its authors reportedly wrote.

Scientists from the Indiana University School of Medicine conducted the tests on 49 men, who were told to drink Gatorade and a beer of their choice. Each subject sipped 15 milliliters of the beverages in over 15 minutes, allowing them to taste both without getting tipsy due to the beer’s alcohol content, the report said.

To find signs of dopamine release, the men’s brains were scanned using positron emission tomography, a nuclear medical imaging technique that produces a 3D image of functional processes in the body.

It was discovered that dopamine levels of participants increased significantly when they tasted beer than Gatorade. The effect was more noticeable in men who have history of alcoholism in the family, the report said. The findings suggest that the rise of dopamine levels in response to triggers could be a hereditary risk factor for problems with alcohol.

The effect was consistent although participants maintained that Gatorade tasted better than beer, according to the beer brain study.