How Your “Soft” Drink Is Killing You Not So Softly

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How Your “Soft” Drink Is Killing You Not So Softly


Did you know that a single can of soft drink can have up to 10 teaspoons of sugar which is higher than even the recommended daily maximum limit of sugar consumption? Sugar is highly addictive and is much more so than even cocaine!

A soft drink normally contains carbonated water which is basically water into which carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved. In the cycle of respiration, when we breathe, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Something which the body naturally throws out as a waste product, we are willingly dumping in it when we consume soft drinks without realising the long term damage it causes. Soft drinks also contain artificial flavourings and a sweetener which could be sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, sugar substitutes or all or some of these. Some of them even have caffeine as an ingredient.

Health Problems Associated With Regular Consumption.

Sugary drinks have been proven to increase Type 2 diabetes and drinking two cans a day can cause fatty liver and liver damage. Soft drinks laden with sugar are the biggest source of empty calories. These drinks are high in calories but the body does not recognise these calories as the hunger hormone is not impacted. So one continues to feel the same hunger despite downing humongous amounts of calories. Innumerable studies have shown that overweight children and adults consume more sugar sweetened drinks. Soft drinks contain no nutrients. High Fructose Corn Syrup which is often used as a sugar substitute has been strongly linked to obesity as fructose gets more easily converted to fat .Since fructose can only be metabolised by the liver, excessive amounts lead to fructose turning into fat and causing fatty liver. Fructose is also known to increase the fat around the abdomen. So if you are aiming to reduce weight, these drinks need to be eliminated completely.

Soda contains phosphoric acid, which not only impedes digestion but also prevents absorption of nutrients. Phosphoric acid also interferes with calcium absorption and can lead to osteoporosis and bone softening.

We often pick up a can of our favourite cola when we are thirsty. There are contradictory studies on the role of caffeine in dehydration; some vociferously link it to dehydration while others debunk the same. If you are thirsty, regular drinking water which is calorie free is still your best bet.

We have all been told since our childhood of the impact sugar has on our teeth. Soft drinks too affect teeth and gums adversely and cause plaque build up as well as cavities. The acid in the drink also causes enamel wear off.

The excessive amounts of sugar in soft drinks causes the brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical which is released during pleasurable body functions and also stimulates the body to seek more of that pleasure. So if you feel the irresistible urge to down a second can of your favourite drink, it is the sugar (due to dopamine release) which is causing the addiction which is kind of similar to drug addiction.

In a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, it was found that caramel chemical which is present in many soda drinks increases the risk of cancer when taken in even small quantities regularly.

Diet drinks are marketed for people with weight issues and to supposedly address weight concerns as a result of soft drinks consumption. However, many of them contain one of the most dangerous additives in food - aspartame which is actually linked to weight gain! It is also associated with endocrine imbalances and depression, amongst many other dangerous effects. Some diet drinks even contain sodium benzoate also known as E211 which causes allergies, hives and aggravates asthma. Researchers at University of Sheffield found in their study for it to be a possible cause of DNA damage and hyperactivity.

While an occasional soft drink won’t kill you, indulgence definitely won’t save you either from impending health disasters.



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