Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
Does the plastic debris found in bottled water affect our bodies? © Getty Images

What does water taste of?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

Pure water can sometimes be perceived to have a taste due to your taste buds rebounding as your glass of H2O cleans your tongue.

Asked by: Lottie Roessler, via email


Pure water doesn’t stimulate your taste buds directly, but it can sometimes still have a taste. That’s because your tongue becomes habituated to the taste of the chemicals in your saliva. When you rinse those away with water, your taste receptors will ‘rebound’ with an opposite taste sensation. So since your saliva is salty, water can taste slightly sweet or even bitter.

Read more:


Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.


luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


Sponsored content