The amount of soft drinks consumed per day rises steadily. Many of us drink more soft or pop drink than we drink water. What most people don’t know is that high doses of soft drink consumption is linked to weight gain and other health related problems. Read here 6 reasons why you should reduce your favorite soft drinks.
1. Soft drinks and high sugar content lead to weight gain!
Most fizzy drinks contain high amounts of sugar. Even the beverages that state “zero” sugars contain “hidden sugars” like sweetener’s named aspartame. Sweetener has similar effects in our bodies as “regular” sugar does, if not worse as our bodies cannot recognize this chemical.
We gain weight when we consume high doses of sugar because it spikes and drops our blood sugar levels very fast. Due to the quick drop of sugar levels our brain believes that we need another “hit of sugar” much sooner than we should have. New cravings arise faster and we end get hungry for more food. This results in higher intake of calories per day and this leads to weight gain.
Another fact is that our body stores any excess sugar as fat in case we need fuel “for later”. Thanks to highly processed foods with longer shelf lives and high sugar contents we eat much more sugar than we burn per day. The result is a lot of sugar stored as fat and once more we put on weight.
2. Regular consumption of soft drinks increases the chance of type 2 diabetes
The high sugar content in fizzy drinks spike our blood sugar levels in one rush. Our body (the pancreas) release the hormone insulin in order to process sugar. If a lot of sugar hits our system at once the pancreas release a lot of insulin in response. If this is done over a long period of time our pancreas eventually gets tiered and starts to release less and less insulin. The state of reduced release of insulin is called diabetes. When people have this illness they need to manually inject the missing insulin into the body with syringes. There many side effects from diabetes such as blindness or diabetic food and related amputations.
3. Soft drinks are related to sugar addiction
Every time we ingest a high dose of sugar our brain releases the hormone dopamine. Dopamine is also known as the “happy-hormone” as the release of this hormone makes us feel better. Our brain is wired to seek out things that make us feel good as a survival mechanism. As a result, we start to crave and consume more of it. And as you know high sugar intake makes us put on weight. As with any addiction it is quite difficult to stop and takes conscious effort to do so.
Other times dopamine get released is when we smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or take any type of drugs.
4. Sugar consumption inhibits the regulation of our satiety center that leads to weight gain
The regulation of appetite and satiety is located in the center of our brain, the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is releasing the hormones ghrelin and leptin in conjunction of food intake. These hormones tell our body if we are hungry or if we are full. If the hormones are not released, we will not receive the feeling of either being hungry or being full. A can of soda reduces our hypothalamus’s function for up to 36 hours. With high sugar consumption the communication between your brain and your stomach is continuously interrupted and as a result you will eat bigger portions, more food and calories and as a result put on more kilos.
5. Soft drinks strip away minerals from your body and can cause nutrient deficiencies
Fizzy drinks contain a lot of phosphoric acid which strips your body from the important mineral’s calcium, magnesium and zinc! These minerals are vital for the health of our bones and are mostly obtained via eating green leafy vegetables. If you don’t eat enough greens to begin with and drink a lot of soft drinks it can cause serious mineral deficiencies in your body. This weaken your bones and also causes weight gain.
When you don’t have all the nutrients your body needs you will feel constantly hungry as your body seeks for all the nutrients to function at its best. If you are hungry, you eat more and increase on weight due to a higher calorie consumption. Read more on weight gain here.
6. Regular consumption of soft drinks can cause tooth decay and cavities
Soft drinks also have a high acidic content in addition to the sugar. The combination of the sugar and the acid are very bad for your teeth. This combination strips away our tooth enamel, which is the protector of our tooth. This makes out tooth “softer”, creates cavities and make them decay faster. Read this article for more on tooth decay and soft drinks.
Take home message
Soft drinks should be considered as a ” treat” and as such only consumed sparingly and on special occasions. Many of us drink way too much cola, sprite or other soft drinks and this can lead to weight gain and other problems for our health!
Sodas are empty calories and highly addictive! As with any drug it takes conscious effort and time to reduce and stop drinking the “liquid poison”. If you wish to lose weight consider what you are drinking and perhaps swap the glass of soda with one glass of water instead. More reasons why water consumption is good for you here.