Science Proves It: You’re A Better Liar When You Need To Pee

Drink up!

The next time you need to lie about something, drink a ton of water. Got beer? Even better—drink two. Because here’s the thing: According to science, we are more convincing liars when we need to piss.

That’s the conclusion of a small study conducted by researchers at California State University. Here’s how it went: 11 students drank 50 mL of water (or about a single shot glass’s worth), and 11 more drank 700 mL of water (considerably more than a pint glass’s worth).

Forty-five minutes later, all 22 students were interviewed by a panel—and the students had been instructed to lie about a few things. The students who drank more water, and therefore were far more in need of a bathroom, turned out to be considerably more convincing liars, providing more complex answers and giving fewer telltale signs of fibbing. 

What are we to take from this? New Scientist notes that this is only the latest in the burgeoning science of What We’re Good At When We Need To Take A Leak:

The findings build on work by Mirjam Tuk of Imperial College London, whose study in 2011 found that people with full bladders were better able to resist short-term impulses and make decisions that led to bigger rewards in the long run. These findings hinted that different activities requiring self-control share common mechanisms in the brain, and engaging in one type of control could enhance another.

Translation: When we’re focused on controlling one impulse—that is, the impulse to piss in our pants—we become better at controlling other impulses as well. We become impulse-control experts.

Just imagine how dangerous Forrest Gump could have been, getting himself in front of a sitting president at the moment of great need. He could have said anything—could have gotten away with anything. And yet…

Photos by Marcos Ferro / Getty Images