I often noticed, after (heavy) physical activity like cycling, running, swimming or working an isotonic drink (to recover the electrolyte level) tastes less "salty" compared to when drinking it before the activity.
Is this possible or am I just hallucinating?
The object of this (if it's real) could be:
- to save us of taking too much salt
- to reduce the reluctance against salt if our body is undersupplied (with sodium ions)
My guess is, that the electrolyte or particularly the sodium (chloride) level in our body influences the cells/nerves that sense the taste for salt on our tongue.
Salts, sweet, sour and umami tastes causes depolarization of the taste cells, although different mechanisms are applied.
So, I imagine it like this:
- If there is enough salt in our body, the cells are saturated with e.g. sodium ions (higher polarization since there are more ions)
NaCland other salts (probably
KCltoo) will then dissociate into
Cl-will then attract more
Na+from the cells causing deplolarization
- Our brain converts these signals into the proper perception
But maybe I'm just hallucinating... :)