Do you find yourself regularly drinking soft drinks unaware of how they affect your health? With a delicious taste and a refreshing sugary energy hit, we can see why they’re so popular but what are soft drinks' effects on health.
Read on to learn soft drinks' effects on health and some ways to limit your intake or find replacements that taste great and don’t negatively impact you.
First of all, why are soft drinks so popular? With any caffeinated or high-sugar drink, consumption creates the release of ‘dopamine’ which stimulates a pleasurable feeling. This leads to craving more and more. So what are the effects of soft drinks on our health?
As we know soft drinks are high in sugar, consuming an increased amount of soft drinks can mean you may be consuming additional calories which could lead to putting on extra weight. Sugary drinks can also increase your cravings for other high calories foods (typically unhealthy options). Having multiple soft drinks paired with these foods can lead to weight gain. Soft drinks also don’t typically provide you with a feeling of fullness, so again, could lead to consuming additional foods and/or drinks. If you are on a fat loss program, this can impact your ability to achieve your desired results. This is just one effect soft drink has on your health.
Other soft drink health risks include an increased chance of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular conditions. A study in America showed that consuming one diet soda a day led to a 36% increased risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and increased your risk of a heart attack, stroke, or other heart complications. It can also result in osteopenia and/or osteoporosis which increases the chance of fractures and broken bones. This happens from the carbonation in soft drinks creating phosphoric acid to leach calcium from your bones.
Breaking any long standing habit can be really challenging and it takes a great deal of mental power. For some people going “cold turkey” works and it is a quicker process but it can also cause some nasty side effects such as irritability, headaches and fatigue. Therefore going slow and steady by reducing it gradually can be quite effective.
Some strategies include:
- Slowly and gradually decreasing your amount of soft drinks ie. If you have 3 a day, start by having 2 a day, then 1 a day then over time you may set a habit of only having them on the weekend.
- Drinking from a glass rather than the bottle.
- Adding ice cubes to the glass so there is less liquid and takes longer to drink.
- Having carbonated water with a small amount of soft drink added in.
- Finding tasty alternatives ie. Low sugar soft drink or soda/plain water with fresh lime or fruit.
If you find you have developed a bad habit of drinking too much soft drink, don’t let it cause long term effects to your health and impact your health and fitness journey. At Vision, we have many strategies to help develop small positive realistic habits for drinking, eating and exercise that allows you to achieve and sustain results AND enjoy the process!
Contact us today for your complimentary consultation so we can help you get started on your health and fitness journey and be the healthiest and happiest version of you!