Are sugary drinks contributing to or deteriorating our health?
LAST UPDATED: May 11, 2022
The shift in our lifestyle has also changed the way we eat and drink. Earlier, we were more indulged in eating homemade food, fresh veggies, and seasonal juices. But with the changing trend, we have replaced all this with fast food and carbonated drinks. Having a healthy diet is required to keep your body fit and in shape. But with the consumption of junk food and canned sodas comes the need to reassess our health as they can be harmful when overconsumed.
In order to understand the advantages and disadvantages of something, it is important to understand what that particular thing means. Come, let’s have a look at what sugary drinks mean and what types they have.
A better understanding of what sugary drinks are
A sugary drink is made up of carbonated water, artificial flavor, and sweetener. They may also contain caffeine, colorings, and preservatives to keep the canned drink going for months. The various types of sugary drinks include sports drinks, soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit-flavored drinks, sweetened tea and coffee drinks, and much more.
Alcohol can also be a sugary drink considering the fact it can contain a lot of sugar in it. They are full of calories and contain no nutritive value, just like soft drinks.
Nowadays, the youth and adults have developed the habit of consuming soda with everything they eat. Whether at a brunch or dinner party, sodas, cold drinks, and alcohol have now become a must-have on the table. But is it really safe to consume so much sweetener and preservatives? Of course not! Anything consumed more than we have the need or space in our body harms us in many ways. But, if you limit its consumption, it may treat your body the right way.
Come, let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of sugary drinks.
With Pros Come Cons
It helps you stay… Nah!
It gives you a… No!
It provides you with… Definitely not!
We cannot really think of an advantage of consuming sugary drinks except that they taste delicious. Health should not be risked to give your taste buds a treat. There are other tasty yet healthy options you can have in place of sugary drinks. Like – fresh juice and smoothies. They can easily be prepared at home according to your taste while fulfilling the criteria of being ‘healthy’.
So what is it that makes sugary drinks delicious and crave for them? It’s the ingredients that make us drink those beverages more and more without the feeling of guilt. But, it does affect our health.
- Makes you gain weight faster – The consumption of sugary drinks is directly linked to weight gain. Sugary drinks contain huge amounts of calories and don’t make you feel full fast, which directly affects your body weight. With the delectable taste, we feel the need to consume sodas even more.
- Calcium depletion – To keep the bones strong and healthy, calcium is an important element. When you consume phosphoric acid and citric acid, the commonly found ingredients in sugary drinks, it depletes the calcium from your bones making the calcium absorption less.
- Belly fat accumulation – Belly fat is that one thing every human being least desires. But you eventually gain a certain amount of belly fat when you consume excessive sugary drinks. The quantity of sugar present in it drastically increases fat around your belly making you want to hate cold drinks. So, why drink in the first place?
- Dry skin and acne – Drinking too many cold drinks can make your body dehydrated. Dehydration not only affects our body internally but also causes dryness in the skin. But this is not all! It can also lead to pores, acne and breakouts. So, if you want a clear skin, it is suggested you take your hands off sugary drinks and cold drinks.
- Liver disease – Sugary drinks are mainly made up of two molecules – glucose and fructose. Glucose can be taken up by each cell of the body whereas fructose can be metabolized by the liver only. So, if you are consuming excessive sugary drinks, you are taking in huge amounts of fructose which may lead to fructose accumulation in the liver, leading to fatty liver diseases.
- No essential nutrients – What is the most crucial thing in today’s lifestyle? Eating healthy food filled with nutrients and minerals. But then what is the benefit of drinking soft drinks? With the presence of all ingredients like sugar, carbonated water, and artificial color, soft drinks lack nutrients and minerals. It adds nothing to your diet other than sugar and unwanted calories.
- Sleeping disorders – Many sugary drinks, contain caffeine in large quantities. Caffeine not only disturbs your sleep but also makes you restless. Not sleeping properly at night can affect your health in many ways. Not only physical but also mental health.
Besides the above-mentioned cons and disadvantages, here are a few more diseases that can be triggered in your body with excessive soda consumption –
High blood pressure
The list can go on and on! But do you know when to stop? Your body may experience changes but you may not be able to see them. With this comes the need to analyze the various signs that show how much addicted you are to drinking cold drinks.
Despite the various disadvantages, you may still be addicted to drinking sugary drinks and alcohol because of many reasons, the main being ingredients.
Let’s check out a few factors that make sugary beverages addiction to the youth and adults –
What makes sugary drinks addictive?
Lifestyle habits – Certain lifestyle habits such as consuming soda with a particular meal or every meal can make you grow fonder about it. Your hunger may not be satisfied unless you consume a fizzy drink with it.
Ingredients – Sugary beverages contain ingredients like sugar and caffeine which makes your cravings even stronger. Just like alcohol and drugs, caffeine also triggers dopamine, the feel-good hormone in the brain which makes it irresistible for us.
Personal preferences – Many people may choose drinking cold drinks over water at first, but as you keep consuming it, your urge to drink it more often increases. This can lead to drinking out of habit just for the taste of drinking regularly without knowing you are addicted to it.
What are the various signs that you are addicted to sugary drinks or soda? Let’s have a look at the signs of soda addiction –
Persistent cravings for soda that become irresistible.
Lack of control over soda consumption.
Increased tolerance of consuming soda till you achieve the desired effect.
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms like difficulty in concentrating, or physical symptoms such as headaches, if you are not able to satisfy your soda cravings.
But what if one is addicted to drinking soda? What can be done in that matter? Getting out of it may not be easy but it is not impossible. Come, let us have a look at how –
Switch to healthy alternatives – If drinking soda has become an addiction, you can switch to healthy options like fresh juice, iced tea, lemonade, or iced coffee. These drinks don’t harm your body while fulfilling the craving to drink something while you munch. This may or may not eliminate the craving for sodas at once, but with time, you will experience control over yourself.
Choose your approach – Many people can give up something if they decide to do it. But, this may not be the case with everyone. So, choose your approach accordingly, whether you want to quit drinking sugary drinks at once or you want to limit their consumption day by day. Both the procedures will require consistency and time, so don’t give up even if you feel like it. This is where you need to keep yourself rigid over the thought of not consuming sodas no matter how much you crave them.
Drink plenty of water – Replace your refills of soda with water and see the difference. Every time you crave cold drinks, think about drinking more and more water. And if you drink a cold drink out of control, consume twice the quantity of water right after it. This will quench your thirst and make you feel full at the same time.
Now, let’s talk about some facts –
- The United States is the biggest consumer of sugary drinks in the world followed by Ireland, Canada, and Norway.
- According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, they are advised to
- Limit the calorie count from added sugars and saturated fats and cut down the sodium intake.
- Shift to a healthier option for food and beverages.
- Focus on nutrient-rich foods.
- Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is used in more than 6,000 food products across the world including sugary drinks and sodas.
- In 1994, aspartame got the EU food approval to be used as a food additive and you can look out for it by the name – E 591.
- According to the American Heart Association, one can consume no more than 450 calories from sugary drinks within a week.
- The drinking guidelines (alcohol) suggest that no more than 14 units should be consumed weekly to keep health risks at bay.
The Bottom Line
Sugary drinks contain caffeine and other harmful ingredients which can be addictive. They have a lot of sugar which is detrimental to the body and increases the adrenaline rush in adults and sugar rush in kids. However, consuming sugary drinks at a limit doesn’t harm your body. You need to make sure to burn the calories you ingest while consuming soda. This way you can stay free of the health benefits and the disadvantages it has.
We don’t choose our health, but we can choose to lead a healthy life by choosing the right lifestyle for us. With Autumn, you can choose to stay healthy in every season. 😉
We have made our bucket list and it includes keeping you healthy, fit, and fine with each passing day.
So, whenever you feel drawn towards fizzy beverages, read the entire blog again and then ask ‘Is that drink worth my health?’
Cheers to a healthy lifestyle! (not the fizzy drinks) 😉