Before we examine the potential consequences of over-consuming fizzy drinks, it's necessary to identify what those fizzy drinks are. Fizzy drinks, also known as carbonated drinks, are typically classified as sugary drinks with carbonation. Coca-cola and Pepsi are two of the most popular brands out there and are consumed regularly all over the world. Surprisingly enough, a recent survey showed that in Mexico, citizens consume almost 700 8oz servings of Coca-cola per capita per year!
Furthermore, these fizzy drinks typically contain large amounts of sugar per serving. One 400ml bottle of Coca-cola contains almost 50 grams of sugar, nearly one and a half times the recommended daily sugar intake. While we are only examining the amount of sugar in a serving or two of Coca-cola in this instance, many other popular brands have similar sugar contents. Take, for example, Pepsi brand soda. One 330ml serving of Pepsi contains nearly 30 grams of sugar. Furthermore, for anyone who has consumed it, it is not surprising that Mountain Dew contains a whopping 46 grams of sugar in a 340ml serving.
It is no wonder why these fizzy, carbonated drinks can have long-term effects on a person's health. When you consistently overindulge and exceed your daily sugar intake, your health is bound to suffer. Regularly consuming too much sugar has been linked to increased rates of obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and bodily inflammation. Furthermore, it can lead to a condition called atherosclerosis. This is defined as a disease of the arteries characterized by the deposition of plaques of fatty material on their inner walls. All these issues are risk factors for heart disease and other heart issues such as heart attacks.
With our world suffering from high rates of obesity and other weight and diet-related issues, examining how fizzy drinks are impacting your life is a step you can take to improve your health. When consumed in excess, added sugar can lead to severe adverse effects on your health. Taking a closer look at the connection between fizzy drinks and weight gain, it may surprise you to learn that these sugary drinks do not decrease hunger levels. As a result, they are linked very strongly to weight gain. Studies show that people who drink sugary, fizzy beverages are more likely to gain weight versus people who do not. In one study on children, each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages was linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity. Fizzy drinks are arguably the most fattening feature of the modern diet.
Since weight gain is so prevalent among fizzy, sugary drinkers, another side effect is an increase in belly fat accumulation. This is important not only for those concerned with their looks or the number on the scale. It is also important because belly fat accumulation is connected to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This means that high consumption of fructose leads to belly fat accumulation which is the most dangerous and common cause of metabolic disease. Furthermore, it can lead to insulin resistance which is the number one symptom of metabolic disease such as type 2 diabetes.
With regards to type 2 diabetes, studies have shown a major correlation between obesity and type 2 diabetes. Since fizzy drinks contain so much sugar, it is said that if everyone added one can of pop to their daily diet, 3.6 million more people may be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Sugary drinks also lack essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Despite their high sugar content, even popular sports drinks or hydration sachets would be a better source of vitamins and minerals than pop.
There is a rise of addictions in this world, and sugary drinks are no different. It is very possible that for some, fizzy drinks filled with sugar are an addictive substance. Studies have shown that rats exposed to large quantities of sugar may cause an increase in dopamine in their brains, leading to a feeling of pleasure. Therefore, it is safe to assume the same could occur in humans. Numerous studies suggest that both sugary sodas and processed junk foods (also high in sugar) can affect your brain the same as hard drugs would.
If that is not enough, drinkers have also been shown to be at higher risk for developing cancer. One study in over 60,000 adults discovered that those who drank 2 or more sugary drinks per week were 87% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those who did not drink these drinks. They have also been shown to wreak havoc on teeth because of the sugar and acids in the drinks. Fizzy drinks contain phosphoric acid and carbonic acid. This combination creates a highly acidic environment that your mouth is not prepared for, which can lead to an increased risk for tooth decay.
Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages in large amounts can have severe effects on health. This may mean an increased chance of tooth decay or a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Regular consumption of sugary soda also appears to be a consistent risk factor for weight gain and obesity. The next logical thought for most people would be to turn to many major corporations' responses to this issue: diet drinks.
Unfortunately, diet drinks and zero-calorie drinks may not be a quick solution for this issue. Take, for example, Coke Zero, which is marketed as a healthier version of the original drink. While Coke Zero boasts zero calories and zero sugar to appear to those trying to reduce sugar intake or control weight, it has its downfalls as well. First off, this drink still has no nutritional value just like its classic competitor. Secondly, Coke Zero is made with artificial sweeteners. While this was popular once upon a time, studies have shown a correlation between artificial sweeteners (think, Equal) and cancer. In this case, Coke Zero uses several common artificial sweeteners, including aspartame and acesulfame potassium. While the FDA has deemed these artificial sweeteners as "generally safe", studies have shown they are still linked to an increase in obesity and risk of weight-related metabolic issues - same as their classic competitor.
Understandably, people enjoy fizzy, sugary drinks. While their taste is delicious, it is also undeniable that they are terrible for your health. There is an extreme risk involved in the regular consumption of sugary drinks and the development of diabetes and heart disease. Furthermore, it has been shown that there are long-term effects on the teeth and an increased risk of developing cancer in individuals who regularly consume sodas. While it is tempting to seek out replacements such as diet versions of our favourite sugary drinks, there will never be a better drink for you than good old-fashioned water.