Nowadays everybody is aware of the negative effects of consuming soft drinks. Why is consumption not decreasing then? A Gallup Wellbeing poll from 2012 revealed that 48 percent of surveyed Americans drink soda on a daily basis, some people consuming on average up to 2.6 glasses a day.
Regardless to whether your soda of choice is flavored, full-sugar, or diet, data shows that Americans may be putting themselves at risk for everything from weight gain to stroke.
Calories from soft drinks don’t seem to be perceived by the body as food in the same way that solid calories are perceived as food. Essentially, when you drink the extra 240 calories in a 20 ounce bottle of soda, your body doesn’t treat it as food.
High fructose corn syrup is often the second ingredient, after water, in sugared sodas. Those who drink the most sugared soda per day have a 67% greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes than those who drink the least sugared soda.
Many soda lovers who understand the ill effects of soda think that turning to diet soft drinks may be a better option, since these beverages tout “zero” calories. Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center monitored 475 adults for 10 years, and found that those who drank diet soda had a 70 percent increase in waist circumference over the 10-year study, compared with those who didn’t drink any soda. Those who drank more than two diet sodas per day saw a 500 percent waist expansion! A separate study the same researchers conducted on mice suggested that it was the aspartame, which raised blood glucose levels, that caused the weight gain; when your liver encounters too much glucose, the excess is converted to body fat. The researchers maintained that artificial sweeteners in diet soft drinks trick the body into reacting differently when it tastes something sweet, ultimately throwing off metabolism.
Scientists don’t fully understand the reason for the association between soft drinks and metabolic syndrome. They speculate that because soft drinks, whether regular or diet, taste sweet, they may condition your body to prefer sweet things, setting you up to ingest more sugary calories. Also, your body doesn’t recognize liquid calories the same way it does solid ones. Therefore, calories from soft drinks won’t satisfy you the way calories from food would.
Sugar isn’t the only problem. Other chemicals in these drinks, such as phosphoric acid and sodium or potassium benzoate, which are used for color, flavor, and preservation, may also negatively impact your health.
Energy Drinks contain large doses of carbohydrates in the form of sugar with additives including caffeine and other legal stimulants, such as guarana and ginseng. These drinks have been linked to increase heart rate and blood pressure, palpitations, nausea, and vomiting, increase dehydration, sleep loss and disruption of the body’s electrolyte balance.
The good news is that there are lots of alternatives beside regular water, from teas to coconut water to cocoa to cold press juices, there is no reason to risk your health.
SAY NO TO
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Carmel Color
- Phosphoric Acid
- Aluminum cans with BPA lining
- Excessive caffeine (Energy Drinks)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Artificial caramel coloring or other dyes
SAY YES TO
- Spring water
- Coffee (in moderation)
- Coconut water
- Infused water (with cucumbers or other fruits)
- Seltzer with a splash of juice
- 100% fresh juices (cold pressed)
- Natural soda (in moderation)
- Glass vs plastic or aluminum
Article From The Happiness Issue