We often do things unknowingly, and while some of them may not be good for us, others have benefits we didn’t know existed. The link between music and eating is odd, but we have put them together for centuries.
No one knows when we combined the two, but the first mention of listening to music while eating dates back to 1866, of a young violinist sometimes playing in a small French restaurant in New York.
Today, things are different, and we can listen to the highest-quality music at the click of a button, which means many of us to do it while eating.
But what benefits does this have on eating behavior?
Benefits of Listening to Music While Eating
1. Music Helps You Eat Slowly
Food scientists in Denmark conducted research where they secretly observed 200 participants eating chocolate while listening to music. A study published in Appetitediscovered that participants who ate the chocolate in silence took 24 seconds to finish.
Participants listening to upbeat music took 10 seconds more to finish the same amount of chocolate, and those listening to slow, soothing music took longer, around 4 seconds more. This slowness is likely because of how music reduces stress and makes us relax.
It could also be that we chew in rhythm with the music, which is why we eat slower when listening to slow music and chew faster to upbeat music while still eating relatively slowly. Either way, taking time to eat allows you to appreciate your food more to develop better eating habits and a healthy relationship with food.
2. Music Helps You Eat Less
There is a popular belief that eating slowly leads to eating less. There is some scientific backing to this because it takes nearly 20 minutes for our brains to signal that we are satiated. If we habitually eat quickly, we may exceed the point of fullness before our brain can tell us to stop.
This behavior points to another benefit of listening to music while eating. Music makes us eat slower, so we can eat less and intake fewer calories before our brain tells us that we are full. Eating the correct amount and avoiding overeating benefits our health and well–being.
3. Music Helps Improve Digestion
You may not know this, but chewing is an integral part of digestion. The enzymes in our saliva and the act of chewing help us break down food for easier digestion. Experts agree that we should chew our food around 32 times before swallowing.
Since we may be chewing to the rhythm of the music, we are likely chewing our food more while listening to upbeat music than we normally do. Hence, music can be highly beneficial for those who have digestive issues or barely chew their food a dozen times before swallowing.
If you eat fast, eat a lot, or have digestive issues after a meal, like feeling bloated, it may be time to consider listening to music while eating. Any music you like can help you improve your eating behavior, but we recommend slow music for relaxation and feeling satiated sooner.
If you want to improve your chewing habit for digestive benefits, you may want to add some upbeat tunes to your dinner playlist. It will still help you eat slower, but you can chew more to the rhythm of the faster beats.
If you are like us, you likely don’t need excuses to listen to your favorite tunes. So, why not give it a shot to see if your eating habits improve?