Swapping Sugar for Some Natural Fizz - The Hard Facts about Soft Drinks

Written on the 20 April 2009 by Graham Park

In today’s world we are spoilt for choice in everything from footwear to food, and the beverages industry is no different with around a thousand new beverages coming out every year, so in our haste to try out all these option have we neglected water, the age old beverage that our bodies need, and is the substitution really worth it?

American researchers attempted to answer this question in the latest American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in which they stated that, as a beverage, soft drinks are the worst of the worst, and were even ranked below moderate alcohol intake.

They're usually sweetened by high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose, whether or not they’re fizzy, which is high in kilojoules which contribute to dental cavities, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Sports drinks are in this category as well, and so are energy drinks, which have the added impact of caffeine and often taurine.

Some studies also suggest that the carbonation of fizzy drinks and the phosperic acid that many soft drinks contain causes calcium loss and potentially weakens bones, and leaves them more brittle.

As if this wasn’t bad enough already, research done in 2005 showed a strong correlation between esophageal cancer and the drinking of carbonated beverages.

Water on the other has no cancerous properties, in fact it has no kilojoules at all, and although it has no nutrients either, that’s not a problem as our bodies are designed to get nutrients through a balanced diet and not our beverage intake.

This isn’t the only benefits of quenching your thirst the old fashioned way; water circulates blood around your body, allows air and oxygen to enter your bloodstream, carries digestive enzymes around your digestive system, so that your food can be broken up into all the bits your body needs, powers and mobilizes your joints and works to keep your body temperature even.

So how much water should you drink? Adults use up to two litres of water a day, although the amount may vary slightly from person to person. Researchers suggest that if you keep some water close by then you should drink whenever you feel thirsty.  It's almost impossible to drink too much water as the kidneys excrete the excess out almost straight away.
If you find it hard to drink enough water then why not try getting some of your daily requirement with tea, or add a squeeze of fresh lemon to give your drink a bit of extra flavour?

Bottoms Up!

Author: Graham Park
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