It was in the classic 1950s movie, Funny Face, starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, where the phrase “think pink” really embedded itself in the cultural zeitgeist — it’s the name of the movie musical’s opening number.
As Kay Thompson sings in the tune, “Red is dead, blue is through, green’s obscene, brown’s taboo! And there is not the slightest excuse for plum or puce! Or chartreuse.” Or, as Harry Styles said to Rolling Stone, quoting the Clash’s Paul Simonon, “Pink is the one true rock and roll colour.”
And now, out of the University of Westminster, is a new study that shows how thinking — sorry, drinking — pink can help you run faster. This is also the first investigation to assess the effect of drink colour on exercise performance.
Researchers found that when drinking pink drinks, exercise performance was increased by 4.4%; an increased ‘feel good’ effect was also noted (imagine if you combined it with joyful movement), which can make exercise seem easier — rejoice!
Diving into exactly how this conclusion was made, study participants were asked to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes — at a speed they’d selected themselves — and ensured their rate of exertion remained consistent. Throughout their exercise, they either rinsed their mouth with a pink drink or a clear drink — both were artificially sweetened and low in calories. The only difference between the two was the food dye added to the pink drink to change the colour.
As for why researchers chose pink? Well, other than it having Harry Styles’ stamp of approval, it’s also associated with perceived sweetness, and therefore increases expectations of sugar and carbohydrate intake (both known to give an energy boost).
In addition to the results, participants also ran, on average, an additional 212 metres further when drinking the pink drink.
If a pink sports drink can do all that, imagine what power a glass of rosé must hold…