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Why McDonald’s Straws Make Drinks Taste Better

Person sipping a drink from a McDonald's cup

Have you ever had a craving for a fountain drink from McDonald’s? While you can always stop at the nearest gas station for a can or bottle of the same thing, it’s just not…the same thing. It might sound a little crazy, but there’s actually some science behind why McDonald’s makes drinks that taste better, and why you crave them over soda from a bottle.

No, it’s not something they’re putting in their soda syrup, and they don’t use a special kind of water.

It’s all about the straws.

McDonald’s obviously doesn’t have a monopoly on straws. You can sip your soda through a straw at home and it’ll taste better than drinking it straight from the can or bottle. Why?

When you take a gulp of a drink straight from a glass, bottle, or can, you’re probably going to get a big mouthful of it. That doesn’t allow for a lot of air circulation in the mouth, and you’ll have to swallow that gulp quickly.

That doesn’t mean the drink will taste bad. But, you’re not giving your tongue a lot of time to actually embrace the subtle flavors.

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When you drink through a straw, you’re getting small sips of your beverage at a time. That allows it to spend more time on your tongue and even warm up a bit before you swallow it. It will release more flavor as it warms.

You’ll also have more air circulation throughout the mouth, which can improve the overall sensation of drinking, and trigger your nerve impulses. It’s a heightened sensation that can send your taste buds into overdrive—in a good way!

But, even if you drink from a straw at home, you might argue that McDonald’s beverages still taste better—especially the elusive McDonald’s Diet Coke that some people go crazy over.

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When it comes to Diet Coke, McDonald’s has a few special touches they use to make sure theirs reigns supreme. But, if you find that all drinks taste a little better at the “golden arches”—including milkshakes—it’s likely because their straws are bigger than the average ones you can find at the store.

The slightly bigger straws allow you to savor the flavor of your drink even more, letting it linger on your tongue and improving air circulation for the optimal beverage experience.

So, if you want your drinks to taste better at home, invest in a package of straws. But, we’re willing to bet that by now, you’re tempted to swing through the McDonald’s drive-thru for one of their signature sodas.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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