# Beverages warmer when using a straw?

For as long as I can remember, my mom has never used a straw with her drink, insisting that the drink warms up on the way up. She admits it’s irrational, and has no basis for this. I was wondering if there was anything sciency I could use to either confirm or disprove her belief. Any thoughts from the Dopers?

Makes sense to me.

Increasing surface area relative to volume would cause the temperature differential to close faster.

Know I idea if it would be more than academic but it seems like something mathematically true if not practically.

And as someone who insists milk be as cold as possible, I too wouldn’t drink it through a straw (though I don’t like straws in general).

I believe a higher surface area transfer would make it seem colder. So even if the amount of heating from the straw is negligible, being able to take a bigger gulp all at once might make it seem colder.

I have to think that any temperature effects in the realm of fluid dynamics will be minimal, but you will feel a colder sensation by drinking out of a glass with ice in it because you’re putting your lip on the glass (and possibly the ice itself) rather than just the straw.

So the first small bit of liquid up the straw cools the straw to the temperature of the drink (let’s not forget that the straw has very little mass) and from then on, it’s heat loss between the straw and the air; for the very, very small amount of time the drink is actually in the straw and that air is actually poor conductor of heat.

My guess is by the time you crunch all the numbers, the heat loss negligible.

Huh? I can gulp a big mouthful out of a glass a hell of a lot faster than I can suck it up a straw. Or did I misunderstand what you were trying to say?
To the OP: Any drink is substantially all water. Which has a ginormous specific heat. It’d be a PITA to do the math, but I’d be amazed to find the difference in temperature going up a typical straw was more than a hundredth of a degree C.

While you could probably show a slight difference in temperatures between drinking methods with some very expensive temperature sensing equipment, the subjective interpretation of those miniscule differences happening within the brain would be orders of magnitude greater; especially between individuals experiencing the same thing.

LSLGuy, I think BigT means that drinking from the glass instead of a straw floods a greater area of the mouth with cold drink, making it feel colder since more mouth area is being cooled. I quit drinking from straws when I was a teen. My reasoning is I taste the drink over a larger area of my tongue, so it tastes better than from a straw.

If I were drinking a borderline-bearable hot drink through a straw then I’d imagine the hot liquid would more directly affect the sensitive part of my mouth and it would feel hotter than if I sipped it in the normal way (a slight slurping and mixing the liquid with cool air).
It may be from this that people think “straw = warmer”

Indeed. LSLGuy got it exactly backwards. Sorry if I was unclear.

Drinking from a glass definitely feels colder because the cold glass contacts your mouth. And as a counterpoint, I think milk feels colder through a straw that drinking straight from a paper tetrapack, because it feels warm when your lips touch the room-temp paper outside.