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Why Does Water Taste Better at Night?

Water tastes better at night because the absorbed daylight ions are replaced by heavier nighttime ions, resulting in a cooler, more refreshing taste.

It can catch you off guard: You get a sweet taste in your mouth. Perhaps it happens when you drink water or eat something that you expected to be more savory. Whatever the case, it can be perplexing and even frightening.

So, what is the situation? Internal medicine expert Philip Junglas, MD, explains the possible causes of what is happening and how to treat it.

What Causes Water to Taste Better at Night?

Because the absorbed daylight ions are removed and replaced by heavier nighttime ions, nighttime water tastes better than daytime water. As a result, the water tastes cooler and more refreshing.

Where does the Flavor of Water Come from?

The minerals dissolved in the water are the most important aspect of a water source’s effect on how it tastes.

Have you ever seen the term “parts per million” (ppm) on a water bottle? This is the amount of a specific mineral present in a given volume of water.

For example, if you purchase a 1-liter (33.8 fluid ounce) bottle of sparkling mineral water, the label may state that it contains 500 ppm of total dissolved solids (TDS).

This TDS measurement is essentially a shorthand for indicating that your water contains naturally occurring minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, sodium, and a variety of others.

Your taste buds may not be able to detect all of these minerals. The average person may not be able to distinguish between mineral water and, say, spring water.

However, a 2013 studyTrusted Source investigated this by conducting a blind taste test on 20 bottled mineral water samples with varying mineral contents and 25 bottled and tap water samples. The researchers discovered that the following four factors had the greatest impact on taste perception:

  • HCO₃⁻ (bicarbonate)
  • SO₄²⁻ (sulfate)
  • Ca²⁺ (calcium)
  • Mg²⁺ (magnesium)

These compound names are unlikely to be plastered all over your bottle’s advertising. However, if you examine your water’s ingredients closely, you may notice these and other ingredients, such as sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), and chloride (Cl), in the TDS breakdown.

Why does Water have a Sweet Taste?

When most people drink water, they notice an unexpected sweet taste. There are a few water-specific reasons for this, according to Dr. Junglas.

Dental Hygiene

According to Dr. Junglas, good oral hygiene will always give you the purest taste. However, there are some situations in which what’s going on in your mouth will influence how you taste.

“Sometimes a person will wake up in the middle of the night and take a sip of water because their mouth has dried out while they were sleeping,” he explains. “They may notice that the water tastes sweeter simply because the evening’s drying secretions are more acidic.” And when you balance that with plain water, it heightens the sense of sweetness, even though the water is just water.”

The Actual Water

Other times, the sweet taste of water may have nothing to do with you and everything to do with the water itself, especially if you live in the country.

“I have well water that tastes sweeter where I live.” “This is usually due to higher levels of calcium and iron,” Dr. Junglas explains. Although too much iron in water can cause a metallic taste, he notes that the water will taste sweet at certain levels and when combined with calcium.

Another factor could be contaminants picked up by your water as it travels through various pipes to reach your glass. Allowing the water to run for a few moments before collecting it in your glass will flush those collected materials through the pipes, leaving you with more natural-tasting water.

Is there a Biological Basis for a Sweet Taste?

There could be biological reasons for sweet-tasting water or a generally sweet taste in your mouth.

Your olfactory sense

Dr. Junglas believes that something affecting your olfactory system will undoubtedly affect your sense of taste. While you may consider how what you drink affects this, you must also consider what you drink out of.

“If you’re drinking out of a cup, the smell of the cup influences what you taste,” says Dr. Junglas. If the cup is fresh from the dishwasher, the soap may cause the liquid to taste different than if the cup has been on the shelf for a few days.”

He adds that inflammation in your sinuses, whether viral or bacterial, can affect your sense of smell and taste.

Acid reflux

According to Dr. Junglas, reflux can also cause sweet tastes.

“Like issues with your nighttime secretions, trace acidic stomach secretions that can end up in your mouth due to the reflux, and oral enzymes in your saliva can cause that sweet taste.”

This is especially true for people who have chronic acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD) and have a constant presence of those acids in their mouth.

Diabetes

A persistent sweet taste in your mouth could be a sign of your body’s inability to regulate its blood sugar level, which could be a sign of diabetes.

Your pancreas produces a hormone called glucagon, which works with the hormone insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels. While insulin prevents high blood sugar levels, glucagon prevents blood sugar levels from falling too low.

Diabetes can cause these hormones to become out of balance, resulting in higher blood sugar levels and a sweet taste in the mouth.

Another problem is diabetes-related ketoacidosis, also known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). When high blood sugar levels go untreated, they can progress to hyperglycemia, leading to DKA. DKA symptoms include a sweet, fruity odor on the breath, which can also cause a sweet taste in the mouth.

Treatments for the Sweet Tooth

If the water tastes sweet and you can determine it is the water itself, we can use several filters to treat it. Otherwise, things can get complicated.

“It’s difficult because it depends on the specific cause,” Dr. Junglas says.

He emphasizes the importance of good oral hygiene. “Sometimes, simply brushing your tongue will help you eliminate bacteria that tend to live in crevices.” You could also use an alcohol-based mouthwash to reduce bacteria in your mouth.”

In addition, because acid reflux is a possible cause, he recommends leaving at least four hours between your last meal of the day and going to bed.

Aside from that, he says, consulting your healthcare provider and even an ear, nose, and throat doctor can help you find a solution. Having someone examine your olfactory system and check the health of your tongue can be very beneficial.

Water Types and Sources

The type of water you drink can also affect the taste. Here are a few examples of the most common types:

  • Tap water is delivered directly to your home or building from a municipal water source. These sources are frequently fluoridated to protect tooth enamel, affecting taste. The type of pipe (such as copper) and its age can also affect the flavor.
  • Spring water is obtained from a natural freshwater spring, usually located in a mountainous region with plenty of clean runoff from snow or rain. Minerals gathered as water flows down mountains and across soil can impact the taste.
  • Well, water is derived from deep underground aquifers. Although it is usually filtered, the high concentration of soil minerals can still affect how it tastes.
  • Nowadays, sparkling water comes in various shapes and sizes, but it is typically just mineral water that has been carbonated with added carbon dioxide (CO2). The mineral content, as well as the fizzy sensation of carbonation and its high acidity, all have an impact on its taste. Many include additional flavorings or juice.
  • Alkaline water contains naturally occurring, ionized minerals that raise its pH, making it less acidic and imparting a “smoother” taste. Many alkaline glasses of water occur naturally near mineral-rich volcanoes or springs, but they can also be alkalinized artificially.
  • Distilled water is created by distilling the steam from boiled water, which removes any minerals, chemicals, or bacteria.

How Much Water should you Drink Daily?

Your body is composed of approximately 60% water.

Throughout the day, the body loses water, primarily through urine and sweat, but also through normal body functions such as breathing. To avoid dehydration, you should drink and drink plenty of water daily.

There are many different views on how much water you should drink daily.

Health experts generally recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, which equals about 2 liters or half a gallon. This is known as the 88 rule and is very simple to remember.

Some experts, however, believe you should drink water constantly throughout the day, even if you aren’t thirsty.

This, like most things, is dependent on the individual. Many factors (both internal and external) eventually influence how much water you require.

Do Water Consumption Influence Energy Levels and Brain Function?

Many people believe that your energy levels and brain function suffer if you don’t drink enough water throughout the day.

There are numerous studies to back this up.

One study in women found that a 1.36 percent fluid loss after exercise lowered mood and concentration and increased headache frequency.

Another study in China followed 12 university students for 36 hours and discovered that not drinking water had a noticeable effect on fatigue, attention and focus, reaction speed, and short-term memory.

Mild dehydration can impair physical performance. A clinical trial on older, healthy men found that even a 1% loss of body water reduced muscle strength, power, and endurance.

Although losing 1% of body weight may not seem like much, it is a significant amount of water to lose. This usually occurs when you are sweating profusely or in a very hot environment and are not drinking enough water.

Does Drinking More Water Help to Prevent Health Problems?

Drinking enough water is necessary for your body to function properly in general. Several health issues may also benefit from increased water intake:

Constipation. Constipation, a common problem, can be alleviated by increasing water intake (12, 13).

Infections of the urinary tract. According to recent research, increasing water consumption may help prevent recurring urinary tract and bladder infections.

Stones in the kidney. An older study concluded that drinking plenty of fluids reduced the risk of kidney stones, but more research is needed (16Trusted Source).

Hydration of the skin. According to studies, more water leads to better skin hydration, but more research on improved clarity and acne effects is needed.

Why does Water Taste Strange After you Wake Up?

When water sits still for an extended period, it loses oxygen, making it taste strange when you wake up and take a drink.

The bubble may also appear by its side. However, sealed bottled water will not taste bad.

Why does Water Taste Better at Three O’clock in the Morning?

Because the absorbed daylight ions are removed and replaced by heavier nighttime ions, nighttime water tastes better than daytime water. As a result, the water tastes cooler and more refreshing.

Is it Safe to Drink Overnight Water?

You certainly can. Drinking water left out overnight is safe as long as it is properly stored.

Always remember to cover water kept in an open or glass container. Never leave a water bottle in your car!

Avoid putting your mouth to the bottle; if you must, finish it all at once.

Are Three Bottles of Water Sufficient?

It all depends. While 3 liters (100 ounces) of water per day may help you meet your needs, it is not required for everyone.

Drinking too much water regularly can be harmful. We recommend drinking water whenever you feel thirsty and listening to your body to stay hydrated.

Conclusion

Water tastes better at night because the absorbed daylight ions are replaced by heavier nighttime ions, which causes the water to taste cooler and more refreshing. We hope this article has helped you with how water tastes better at night and other related questions.