I am not someone who ever really drank much soft drink. Growing up it was only ever bought on special occasions or if we went out to dinner. As I got older, I simply didn’t buy it, so its never been in my house and my son has never had any, although he is only 2.5 years old. I am definitely not one of those Mum’s who doesn’t let their child have lollies and sweet treats, but soft drinks is not something I don’t ever want him to drink. However, recently I had some clients tell me they were drinking 2-3 cans of fizzy drink a day, which honestly shocked me. I couldn’t believe people drank so much of these drinks on such a regular basis and after discussing this with some of my peers, I realised its more common than I thought for people to drink soft drinks on a regular basis. Now I know soft drinks aren’t good for you, but I didn’t realise just how bad for you they are. So here are the finding of the research I have been undertaking.
Sugar sugar and more sugar
This first thing that I noticed about these drinks, is that they are incredibly high in sugar. Below is the nutrition information for a 375ml can of coke. So 40g of sugar, or 10 teaspoons of sugar. Can you imagine sitting down and eating 10 teaspoons of sugar? Or putting 10 teaspoons of sugar into your tea and coffee? It would be painfully sweet… And yet we seem to accept it in our soft drinks. To put it into perspective, these are the recommended daily sugar intake for men and women:
- Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons)
- Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)
- Children: Less than 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)
So one can of coke, has more sugar in it, than what is recommended we have in an entire day!
Increase risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease
It is known that obesity can cause cancer, however despite the size of your waist, a study by Cancer Council Victoria showed a positive link between soft drink consumption and the risk of cancer.
Drinking even one can of soft drink, on a regular basis, can increase your risk of obesity, which is linked to 13 different types of cancers. Regular consumption also greatly increases your risk of other chronic illnesses such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as tooth decay.
Can alter your mood
Due to certain soft drinks having high levels of caffeine, drinking them can cause irritability, rapid heart rate and insomnia. Regular consumption of soft drinks can also be linked to aggression, developmental and behavioural issues in young people.
They are addictive
Due to the high levels of caffeine and sugar in these drinks, people can often find themselves addicted the sudden rush of adrenalin. When this inevitably wears off, you may find yourself feeling exhausted and reaching for another drink, hence the addiction. I have spoken to people who would drink upwards of 2 litres of coke per day and often felt withdrawal symptoms if they did not drink it for a period of time.
Basically, there are no redeeming features when it comes to soft drinks… They have a negative impact on your health, no matter how you look at it, and have no business being in your diet.