To be honest. I am sick of the ‘is corn-syrup worse for you than regular sugar’ debate.
Because it’s really not that hard to just cut out either. To me, it’s like comparing jumping off a cliff to jumping out of a plane without a parachute. Either way…it’s gonna kill you. So don’t do it.
Why should I bother?
Many health benefits come from cutting out sugary drinks. Many of the following also apply to juices and other high calorie drinks that are surprisingly also made by major soda companies. I’ll take you head to toe of some of the terrible side effects.
Sleep. Caffeine blocks the serotonin levels that we know and love. These are what keep sleep-inducing receptors in our brain from binding. Yes, even diet coke has caffeine.
Brain. Long term consumption of sugar impacts your ability to learn and remember things. It has also been linked to Alzheimer’s through a 2002 study by Molteni and colleagues. Increased adrenaline from caffeine can also lead to anxiety and mental instability.
Teeth. Soda has been compared to hard drugs by researchers. It has some of the same effects as meth and cocaine. The chemicals and sugar in the drink strip tooth enamel. The dye from your drink also dyes your teeth. These are the same in diet sodas!
Heart. A 2012 Harvard study showed that those that drank sugary drinks were 20% more likely to have a heart attack. Doctors found (through a longitudinal study) that even cutting back by one drink a day cuts your cholesterol. This is added proof that cutting back just one soda day (to start) can already show great health benefits.
Bladder and kidneys. Soda is not only a diuretic from the increased caffeine levels (meaning that it dehydrates you) but can also cause urinary tract infections. Diet and regular sodas have also been known to decrease kidney function, especially in women.
Reproductive system. BPA found in some cans and bottles has been linked to birth defects and premature puberty as well as an increased risk of cancer.
Bones. Chemicals and sugar found in soft drinks can diminish calcium and decrease bone structure. This can lead to diseases like osteoporosis when we age.
Weight Loss. An expert from “About Health” states that by decreasing your intake of one large soda a day for a year would result in a 200,000 deficit or 60 lbs! Even diet soda still tastes sweet and triggers your brain to consume more sugar in other ways! The carbonation of the drink can also cause up to 3-5 lbs of bloating! If you want the six pack abs you gotta cut the six pack soda.
Other diseases. Sugary drinks can also lead to a lethargic lifestyle which has many other ramifications like sitting around, liver problems and diabetes.
Live Longer. Drinking high amounts of sugar and soft drinks also leads to shorter telomeres in immune cells. Your body can’t fight disease as strongly with a weakened immune system which can be linked to a shorter lifespan.
Get rid of drinks at home. The first step is to know that you want to make a change and get rid of your temptations. If it’s there…you will drink it.
You can start by eliminating a few drinks a day. If you are one that drinks a whole 2-liter or a whole 6-pack of bottles, start by eliminating one or two a day. As I said earlier, soda does contain caffeine and other stimulants similar to addicting drugs. Quitting cold turkey does come with side effects like headaches and sleeping problems, but these go away with time.
Have healthy alternatives around. Substitute low/no calorie drinks like water or carbonated water.
As I stated earlier. Many of the above health problems also apply to juices and other drinks that people perceive as being healthy. Yes, juices often have nutrients that our body needs to survive, but you can also get these without added sugars by actually eating the fruit that is pictured on the bottle. Juice is often made by soda companies that add in other sugars and chemicals that will ruin our bodies just as fast. I am one that had kidney stones, and they recommended drinking cranberry juice everyday. I have found a condensed low-calorie version that I mix in with my water once a day. I get the same benefit without added worry.
If you have any questions about where you can find information on these topics let me know, I can point you in the direction of some sources.
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For yesterday’s “The Importance of Water…” Post click below