Maybe you haven’t given much thought to the shape of your glass on a night out in the pub. But recent research shows that you are more likely to drink more quickly from a curved glass than a straight glass.
Researchers at the University of Bristol took a group of 159 men and women and filmed them drinking either soft drinks or beer as part of their study. The glasses used were either straight or curvy and each contained around half a pint of liquid.
Those drinking soft drinks took around seven minutes to polish off their drinks whether drinking from straight or curvy glasses. However those drinking beer took four minutes longer to finish their drinks when quaffing from a straight glass.
The results showed that drinking time is slowed by almost 60% when alcohol is consumed from a straight glass compared with a curved glass. Researchers believe that curvy glasses make it harder to pace drinking because it is more difficult to judge how much was in the curved glass.
The study group were also shown a variety of pictures of partially filled beer glasses and were asked to judge whether they were more or less than half full. Researchers said they were more likely to get the answer wrong when assessing the amount in curved glasses.
The study backs up previous research published in the BMJ seven years ago which determined whether people pour different amounts into short wide glasses than into tall slender ones.
Aiming to pour a shot of alcohol (44.3ml) the study group poured more into short wide glasses than into tall slender glasses. In fact despite an average of six years experience bartenders poured 20.5% more into short wide glasses than tall, slender ones.
Angela Attwood, lead researcher on the Bristol study said: ‘Our research is the first to examine whether glass shape directly influences drinking behavior. Our data indicates that the shape of a drinking glass influences the rate of drinking of an alcoholic beverage, but not a non alcoholic drink’.
The drinkers on the study were unable to judge how quickly they were drinking so were unable to pace themselves. She suggested that altering the glasses in pubs could help ‘nudge’ people to drink more healthily by ‘giving control’ back to the drinkers.