The Benefits and Harm of Soft Drinks
In this article, we review the scientific evidence on the effects of soft drinks on our bodies. We will see that they are not only high in sugar but also contain different additives and processing chemicals with potentially harmful effects.
Advantages of soft drinks:
Soft drinks are very popular and preferred choices for teenagers and adults alike. Flavors such as cola, lemon, and cherry keep people hooked to this beverage. But isn’t it ironic that we love something which is unhealthy?
We find ways to justify our craving by saying “regular water has no taste” or “it’s good once in a while”. The fact remains that soft drinks contain large amounts of sugar (high fructose corn syrup) which contributes to obesity, heart diseases, and even diabetes. Let us check out some of the advantages of soft drink consumption:
1. PRODUCTIVITY BOOSTER:
It gives instant energy by spiking blood glucose levels thereby boosting your productivity at work or study. This is because of the presence of caffeine. While a recent study suggests a link between obesity and caffeinated beverages, many people claim to have experienced an energy boost after consuming soft drinks.
2. CONCENTRATION BOOSTER:
Caffeine is known for its ability to increase concentration levels especially among students who are facing difficulties focusing on certain tasks. Soft drinks contain caffeine which helps in boosting your memory as well as concentration.
3. REJUVENATING MACHINE:
Soft drinks act like rejuvenating machines for tired and dull skin by supplying essential nutrients (such as vitamin C) required for nourishing your face. This can be seen by the brightness of the models’ faces in TVCs or advertisements of cola beverages! However, this does not mean that you should over-indulge in soft drinks to have fair and glowing skin. Excess intake of caffeinated beverages can damage your hair and skin!
4. COLORING FACIAL HAIR:
Colas may be a boon for some people as they help in lightening dark facial hair on the face, thereby helping them get rid of unpleasant black tones from their faces.
5. STRENGTHEN YOUR BONES:
Soft drinks contribute towards strengthening your bones due to the presence of phosphorous which is abundant in colas. Due to this reason, lovers of cola would not find it difficult carrying heavy luggage or lifting objects while going on a trip, especially overseas!
6. NATURAL ABLATIVE:
Colas can be used as natural ablatives (a chemical agent capable of dissolving or destroying living tissue). For instance, colas can help in the removal of warts by rubbing them with a slice of lemon which has been soaked overnight in cola.
7. DIABETES PREVENTION:
While excess consumption of soft drinks leads to obesity and causes other health problems, it may help prevent diabetes due to the presence of certain antibacterial agents. However, this does not mean that drinking soft drinks reduces the chances of developing diabetes!
8. HIGH CALCIUM CONTENT:
Soft drinks contain high calcium content which helps in maintaining bone density and strengthens teeth enamel thereby protecting us from tooth decay.
9. TUMMY SOOTHER:
Colas can help in the relief of indigestion and acidity by stimulating the release of stomach acids. This is because it contains large amounts of citric acid which has antiseptic properties.
10. BOOST IN METABOLISM:
Consuming colas helps to boost your metabolism as well as promotes thermogenesis (a process through which calorie from consumed food gets converted into heat resulting in weight loss). However, it is advisable not to over-indulge in soft drinks just for a healthy lifestyle! One or two servings a day should suffice.
Disadvantages of soft drinks?
1. DEPLETION OF MINERAL CONTENT:
Soft drinks contain zero nutrition apart from carbohydrates, sugars, caffeine, phosphorous, etc which are all detrimental to the body. They also contain large amounts of carbon dioxide which dissolves into your bloodstream thereby displacing oxygen resulting in anemia or fatigue. Furthermore, intake of phosphoric acid present in colas promotes loss of calcium and magnesium leading to weakening of bones and tooth enamel resulting in dental problems.
2. LARGE AMOUNTS OF SUGAR AND CARBOHYDRATE:
Soft drinks cause tooth decay due to the presence of large amounts of sugar (high fructose corn syrup) along with caramel coloring agents which promotes bacterial growth! While the daily intake limit for sugar is about 100 grams, a single can of cola contains 36 to 50 grams of sugar!
3. HIGH LEVELS OF CAFFEINE:
Colas contain high levels of caffeine that act as a diuretic by increasing urination thereby flushing out essential minerals from our body resulting in dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. In fact, caffeine overdose leads to nausea, vomiting, etc which may even be fatal. Moreover, prolonged usage leads to addiction and tolerance resulting in withdrawal symptoms such as headache, irritability, etc!
4. LOSS OF REFRESHING QUALITY:
The flavor of soda drinks gets lost within minutes so you would have nothing more than lukewarm water or ‘soda’ when you finish your drink! So next time, instead of reaching out for cola you should reach for a bottle of cool water to satiate your thirst!
5. DISPLACEMENT OF WATER CONTENT:
Soft drinks cause dehydration as they contain large amounts of caffeine (diuretic) which results in flushing out essential minerals like calcium causing electrolyte imbalance leading to headaches, mood swings, etc. Furthermore, phosphoric acid present in soft drinks causes depletion of calcium resulting in weakening bones and teeth enamel resulting in dental problems!
6. TOXIC INGREDIENTS:
Colas contain harmful ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring agents fumaric chloride, fructooligosaccharides, etc which are detrimental to health due to the presence of cancer triggering agents such as 4-methylimidazole!
7. HYPOGLYCEMIC EFFECT:
New research suggests that the high glucose content in soft drinks causes insulin resistance thereby increasing chances of getting diabetes, especially amongst teenagers!
8. HEART DISEASE RISK:
Intake of excess carbohydrates, undigested proteins along defective cholesterols results in deposition on blood vessel walls leading to narrowing of arteries which may lead to heart attack or stroke.
effects of carbonated drinks on the body:
Caffeine and sugar (in the form of high fructose corn syrup) present in colas result in depletion of calcium and magnesium leading to electrolyte imbalance which may cause convulsions, muscle spasms, etc. In fact, caffeine overdose may even be fatal! Moreover, phosphoric acid present in soft drinks causes depletion of calcium resulting in weakening bones and teeth enamel resulting in dental problems.
In addition intake of large amounts of sugar from soft drinks results in tooth decay as it contains caramel coloring agents that promote bacterial growth! Furthermore, studies have also suggested a link between the consumption of carbonated beverages and increased risk for osteoporosis because a decrease in bone density has been reported due to content.
Effects of carbonated drinks on the body:
Furthermore, intake of large amounts of sugar from soft drinks results in tooth decay as it contains caramel coloring agents that promote bacterial growth! Furthermore, studies have also suggested a link between the consumption of carbonated beverages and increased risk for osteoporosis because a decrease in bone density has been reported due to content.
Uses of soft drinks:
So next time, instead of reaching out for cola you should reach for a bottle of cool water to satiate your thirst! Moreover, carbonated drinks flavored with lemon and lime cause acid erosion in teeth leading to pain and discomfort which is not treatable at home. In fact, the use of straws that are used while drinking soft drinks limits the exposure of teeth to an acidic environment thus reducing the risk for dental damages caused by its consumption.
Effects of carbonated drinks on the body:
Caffeine present in colas causes addiction and withdrawal symptoms such as headache, irritability, etc! Furthermore, studies have shown that frequent intake over extended periods results in loss of appetite thereby causing weight gain due to starvation. So next time you want something fizzy, reach for sparkling water flavored with lemon for a healthy dose of flavor!