Putting Air Up to the Test: Does It Transform Water into Flavor?

Putting Air Up to the Test: Does It Transform Water into Flavor?

Air Up Compatible Flavor Pods

Do Air Up water bottles live up to their claims? Our comprehensive evaluation revealed that they do indeed succeed in infusing water with the flavors of their pods. One of the standout flavors was mango-passionfruit, offering a delightful and juicy "flavor" experience. However, the orange-vanilla pod received mixed reviews, with some perceiving it as somewhat artificial.

As we delved into the data and feedback from our testers, it became evident that personal preferences played a significant role. Scent perception varies from person to person, influenced by individual associations and differences in olfactory sensitivity. Some testers didn't find themselves drawn to the Air Up water bottle after testing, while others hailed it as an innovative addition to their daily hydration routine.

One tester remarked, "Inhaling the scent didn't enhance the flavor for me," while another shared, "This is no gimmick. On days when I struggle to consume plain water at home, the Air Up bottle makes it more enjoyable." Ultimately, your experience with Air Up depends on how you engage with and appreciate scents.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

What is Air Up?

Lena Jüngst and Tim Jäger, two visionary German university students, founded Air Up after their exploration of Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters, a book authored by neuroscientist Gordon M. Shepherd. Shepherd's book challenges traditional beliefs by underscoring the critical role of the sense of smell in flavor perception. Inspired by these insights, Jüngst and Jäger embarked on a mission to create the first Air Up prototype, guided by the motto "Neuroscience meets design." Their overarching goal is to enhance global health by addressing poor nutrition, particularly inadequate hydration. This innovative water bottle is designed to accommodate 15 distinctive flavor pods and is available in both plastic and stainless steel versions, offering personalization options with a variety of colorful accessories.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

How Air Up works

Join the flavor revolution with Air Up, where scents transform into delectable tastes. Air Up underscores the importance of olfactory receptors, capable of detecting over 1 trillion scents. The brand elaborates:

"Retronasal smelling is the heart of Air Up's innovation. It's how we infuse plain water with 'flavored' air from our pods. Our bottles ensure that every sip is a flavorful experience, with your nasal receptors converting 'flavored' air into taste. Astonishingly, your water remains unchanged in terms of actual flavor. It's a culinary adventure through your sense of smell."

With Air Up, you'll savor scents as flavors in a true gustatory revolution.

Perfect your hydration routine with the innovative flavor infusion of Air Up. Begin by filling your water bottle to the capacity line, then attaching the mouthpiece and straw. Secure the circular pod over the mouthpiece and activate it. As you sip, immerse yourself in the scented air bubbles traveling through the straw, enchanting your taste buds.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

How we tested Air Up

At the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab, we take water bottles seriously. Over the years, we've rigorously assessed countless options for performance, durability, and ease of use. But when the Air Up water bottle entered our testing lineup, it was clear that this was no ordinary examination.

Our 11-person testing panel, featuring consumers, dietitians, kitchen equipment experts, engineers, and chemists, embarked on a thorough evaluation journey. The result? A wealth of data, comprising over a hundred data points and invaluable feedback. This feedback ranged from taste assessments to comfort during usage and observations on shifts in hydration habits.

Inside our Lab, no detail was overlooked. We conducted drop and leak tests on both plastic and stainless steel Air Up models. We meticulously scrutinized nine distinct flavor pods, rating them for flavor quality, longevity, and strength. Additionally, we assessed the water bottle's user-friendliness, covering aspects like filling, carrying, drinking, and cleaning.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

What is in the flavor pods?

The flavorings in the pods are allegedly manufactured from natural tastes that are taken from plants, fruits, and spices, claims Air Up. The business stated that certain elements "relate to Air Up's [intellectual property] are proprietary." The brand's website now offers 15 varieties, ranging from apple to basil-lemon to orange-vanilla. You may get three packs of your favorite smell or variety packs of scents that include five of the most popular scents. A few flavor pods are also included in each water bottle beginning set. Due to individual tastes, no smell in our samples emerged as the clear winner. According to one reviewer who loves watermelon-flavored beverages, the watermelon pod smelled good.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

How long do Air Up pods last?

According to Air Up, each of its pods is engineered to enrich approximately 1.3 gallons of water with captivating scents. The company also highlights the importance of checking the "best before" date on each pod, as the scent's potency may decrease over time, providing the most satisfying experience when the pod is freshly opened. It is crucial to store the pods in their original packaging, as they are not washable and should only be unsealed just before attaching them to your water bottle.

Our observations revealed that if the pods remained attached to the water bottle for an extended duration without use, the fragrance gradually dissipated, leading to a less pronounced "flavor" for the water. Our experts, considering the per-pod cost and the current online-only purchasing option, expressed a desire for pods with an extended lifespan.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

Additional Lab and tester notes

Delve into the world of the Air Up water bottle as we assess its durability, weight, and comfort features. We've explored how the lightweight plastic version contrasts with its heavier stainless steel counterpart in terms of weight.

Our drop testing procedures subjected both materials to a series of drops onto hard concrete, unveiling their respective strengths and weaknesses. The results shed light on the bottles' resilience when faced with real-world conditions.
Leak testing was another crucial aspect of our evaluation, where we examined the bottles' ability to remain leak-free when positioned on their sides with tightly sealed lids. Discover the differences between the plastic and stainless steel bottles in this regard.

Furthermore, we delved into the comfort factor of the Air Up water bottle, particularly focusing on the mouthpiece and ease of sipping. Ease of cleaning, including the advantages of the stainless steel model, was also a key consideration.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

So, is the Air Up water bottle worth it?

The Air Up water bottle prompts the question: is it a worthwhile addition to your daily routine? This unique bottle caters to those who appreciate the taste of flavored water and find it easier to meet their hydration goals with a dash of flavor.

Stefani Sassos, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.O., C.D.N., NASM-CPT, the Nutrition Lab Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, believes, "Individuals who struggle with staying properly hydrated may find this bottle beneficial, especially if they consider plain water dull." If you have a busy lifestyle and find it challenging to infuse your water with fresh ingredients, Air Up might be the solution you've been seeking.

However, it's important to consider that the Air Up water bottle may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who consume substantial amounts of water and require a larger bottle capacity (the plastic version holds 22 ounces, while the stainless steel version holds 28 ounces). As one tester pointed out, "I wish it came in different sizes to reduce the need for frequent refills."

Budget-conscious individuals should also take note, as regularly purchasing flavor pods can impact your finances. A three-pack of pods, which flavors approximately 3.9 gallons of water, may become an ongoing expense. Nevertheless, with seven out of 11 testers recommending Air Up, it appears to have garnered widespread appeal.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

ref: Air Up Water Bottle Review: We Tested the Water Bottle That "Flavors" Water Via Scent

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