Soft Drinks vs. Water – Health Benefits Explained
Adding a soft drink to our meal is something we all do, and craving that specific bubbly taste of your favorite fizzy drink is something we are all too familiar with.
However, something we are not familiar with is, what these sugar-sweetened drinks are actually doing to our bodies, and how our preferred alternative to water has become a very common,widely-accepted norm that has plagued our everyday lives.
The Effects of Soft Drinks on Our Bodies:
Firstly, soft drinks contain large amounts of added sugar also known as fructose and glucose.
This fructose is present as the average can of soft drink has roughly 10 teaspoons of sugar per can and fructose is very present in this type of sugar.
Why is this important to know?
Soft Drinks Effect Your Liver:
Sucrose (table sugar) consists of two molecules – glucose, and fructose. Glucose can be broken down by any and every cell in your body, while fructose can only be metabolized by your liver.
Therefore, when you consume an excessive amount of fructose (from your soft drink), your liver becomes overburdened and starts to turn the fructose into fat. Over time, this can assist in causing Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
On the other hand, the liver is responsible for flushing the toxins out of your body. Therefore, drinking water will assist in this as water aids the liver in this cleaning process.
Soft Drinks and Insulin Resistance:
Insulin pushes glucose from your bloodstream into your cells. However, when you consume soft drinks, you become more resistant to the effects of insulin. When this occurs, your body is forced to create more insulin in order to remove the glucose from your bloodstream – this causes your insulin levels to peak causing Insulin Resistance.
Insulin Resistance is known to cause Metabolic Syndrome which is the starting point of many diseases including Type 2 Diabetes.
Soft Drinks and Type 2 Diabetes:
Type 2 Diabetes is characterized by a raised blood sugar due to the previously mentioned Insulin Resistance.
Considering soft drinks contain high amounts of fructose and excessive fructose is what causes Insulin Resistance, then it only makes sense that soft drinks can be linked to Type 2 Diabetes.
Moreover, studies have indicated that for every 150 calories of sugar per day (1 soft drink), the risk of diabetes is increased by 1.1%.
This indicates that one soft drink, which we deem as harmless or much needed, is actually causing more harm than we think.
Soft Drinks and Cancer:
Cancer develops alongside other chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Therefore, if soft drinks can so easily cause such diseases, it is not a surprise that soft drinks are associated with cancer.
Research has reflected that those who drink 2 or more soft drinks per week are 87% more likely to develop Pancreatic Cancer than those who do not drink soft drinks.
Soft Drinks and Your Teeth:
Soft drinks contain acids like carbonic and phosphoric acid. Consuming soft drinks creates a highly acidic environment in your mouth and allows your teeth to be more vulnerable to decay.
These acids cause damage, however, its the combination of acids and sugar in your mouth that especially harm your teeth and cause decay.
Soft Drinks and Their Health Benefits:
Soft drinks have no essential nutrients whatsoever. No vitamins, no minerals, and no fiber.
Water and the Body:
- Water is essential for all survival.
- Helps your joints.
- It helps build muscle.
- Improves physical performance.
- Improves mood.
- Keeps your kidneys healthy.
- Aids your liver in removing toxins.
- Speeds up your metabolism.
- Keep your skin healthy and clear.
- Improves memory.
- Water is an essential nutrient.
In essence, soft drinks are overloaded with sugar and cause so many unforgiving side effects. After assessing how harmful soft drinks can be from just casual use, it is recommended that you substitute soft drinks for water at any time you get and let your body thank you or it later.