Factors that make soft drinks (or carbonated drinks) a form of relaxation are many. No matter how our day goes, we almost always have a reason to open a can or bottle of soft drink to calm the nerves and relax.
It is worse when you are living in a big and crowded city like Lagos where you may be made to sit in a vehicle for hours due to endless traffic. In these situations, a sachet of sausage roll and a bottle of chilled soft drink is always to the rescue. Most times, it takes strong self-control to just opt for water.
And have you been to an average African ceremony? For example a wedding, you get to have your fill of different types of soft drinks and who want to say no to some free drinks.
But taking carbonated drinks once in a while is not the problem, making it a usual thing is. So far our thirst is quenched and craves for sugar has been fulfilled, we tend to ignore the dangers of the habit we indulge in almost every day, if not every day.
Like processed food, carbonated drinks are not good for the health in many ways. In fact, they can worsen our health in many ways we may not be aware of.
Increased risk rate of type 2 diabetes
Studies have shown taking 1 or 2 can of soft drink a day increase your chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 26% than those who rarely take them. The Nurses’ Health Study followed the health of 90,000 women for eight years. The results showed those who said they had fruit punch or soft drinks were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes when compared with those that said they rarely do.
Increase Risk rate of heart disease
Scientists have found a link between consuming carbonated drinks and heart disease. The reason is, people who take more of carbonated drinks consume more sugar, they weigh more and eat less healthy food, all these combinations are not good for the heart.
Also, the adverse effects of the high glycemic load from these beverages on blood glucose, cholesterol fractions, and inflammatory factors probably also contribute to the higher risk of heart disease.
They can cause liver damage
Scientists from Isreal had warned people to cut down on their consumption of carbonated drinks as they could lead to fatty liver which may lead to other grievous conditions when left untreated.
“We found people who drink more than two cans of Coke a day have increased their chances for a fatty liver, and if left untreated their chances for heart disease and cirrhosis of the liver also increase”.
They can increase our risk of Alzheimer’s
Scientists in America found that mice fed the equivalent of five cans of sugary drinks a day had worse memories and twice the amount of brain deposits associated with the disease than mice without added sugar in their diet. This suggests that fizzy drinks could be linked with Alzheimer’s.
Increased Rate Of Developing Gout
A 22-year-long study of 80,000 women found that those who consumed a can a day of sugary drink had a 75% higher risk of gout than women who rarely had such drinks. Researchers found a similarly-elevated risk in men.
They can cause/worsen heartburn and belching
Most people no consuming soft drinks make one belch, that seems to be a normal side effect, but many do not know it also increase the rate of heartburn.
If you usually have heartburn or stomach cramp due to gas, you should stay away from carbonated drinks as they will make your condition worse.
Makes Us Fat
It is that straightforward. These drinks contain a lot of sugar and taken them directly means an increase in our sugar consumption which does not look good for the body weight, especially if you are trying to shed some fat.
Considering the many risks associated with these drinks, it will be safe to say they do more harm than good. So why not switch to unprocessed drinks with natural ingredients, most of which you can make at home yourself.