Eli5, Why does sweet cancel sweet


Why is that when I have tea, coffee or hot chocolate and also eat something sweet like a chocolate or donut, just after taking a bite I’ll sip my beverage and it will be bitter as hell. Why do taste buds do such a thing?

In: Biology

Something like a donut or chocolate is so sweet, that it overwhelms the taste receptors for sweet, causing your brain to “dial down” their sensitivity, making the beverage taste much less sweet in comparison. It’s like looking into a bright light for a second and being blinded for a little while afterwards.

It’s a thing called habituation.

basically, nerves are at their most sensitive when they aren’t really being used.

So, when you start eating something sweet, your taste buds for sweetness begin to lose their sensitivity.

Meanwhile, your taste buds for bitterness are still as sensitive as ever.

So, if you then taste something that’s less sweet and more bitter, you won’t taste the sweetness as much, but you’ll taste the bitterness just fine.

If you were in a sauna, and drank hot coffee, the difference is much less than being in the middle of the rain and drinking it.

Why many words when few do trick?

More sweet cancels less sweet. One bite of donut might have more sugar than your whole coffee. So after the donut bite, the coffee is less sweet by comparison.