If you haven’t given up the soft drinks yet, then this is going to give you food for thought. Are you using sugary drinks to keep your energy up at certain times of the day? Telling yourself that the one cheeky Coke you have isn’t a problem? Well these drinks are adding sugar into our diets which is affecting health on a massive scale.

We’ve added high amounts of calories via fizzy drinks, fruit juices which we consider healthy versions, and dare I say it, the big syrupy coffee’s from our favourite coffee shops. Consider them as sugar hits, and they are some of the biggest reasons for weight gain, and when we have these drinks they don’t stop you from feeling hungry, so when you are having them to replace a meal, we often still have the same amount of food. Its because it doesn’t affect your ghrelin levels which is a hormone that helps to regulate your appetite, so you still end up eating dinner or lunch and one of these drinks….because they haven’t made you feel full, or satiated, so you end up consuming more calories. In fact all the research shows that those of you who are using fizzy drinks are tending to consume an extra 20% of your calories like this. That’s a lot of exercise you need to work it off! But it’s the main reason why those children having these drinks are consistently putting on weight and we have the weight issues in children we are seeing nowadays.

Our liver has to deal with the fructose, the glucose goes into every cell, and we are overloading our livers with the amount of fructose many of us are consuming. I’m going to break the bad news to those of you using fruit juices instead of fizzy drinks, it still turns to fat if the liver is overwhelmed. The part of the fat that doesn’t travel into the body as blood triglycerides remains in the liver, one of the things we are seeing in children with obesity now is a fatty liver, which would of only previously been seen in alcoholics!

When we take in more sugar, we tend to want more sugar, the body’s hard wired to want more of it, and it will store it, yes in all those area’s we complain about not being able to lose weight!

Now your insulin acts like a lock and key to help take the glucose from the bloodstream into the cells, but if we are having too much sugar then our cells in time become resistant to the effects of the insulin, then the pancreas makes more insulin to help remove the glucose from the blood stream and guess what your insulin levels in the blood go up, and you’re on your way to type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and there are no end of research studies that are showing fizzy drink and fruit juice consumption are linked with type 2 diabetes, and just one can a day! It’s pretty much established now that sugary drinks lead to increases in blood sugar levels, blood triglycerides, and there is a strong link with them and heart disease, in fact a large piece of research with over 40,000 people over 2 decades was clear that one can a day increased your heart disease risk by 20%.

Something I’m dealing with increasingly in the practise is dementia and Alzheimer’s, and research has shown that the risk is higher for those who are consuming higher amounts of sugar. Interestingly large amounts of sugar can impair memory and the ability to make clear decisions, so that sugary drink you think is helping you at 3pm in the afternoon, with an addition of caffeine is probably having the opposite affect!

Now we have sugar because it affects our feel good hormones, dopamine is triggered, released and we feel gooooood, and studies show that it is physically addictive, hey we like to feel good, and these drinks make us feel rewarded. But you would be better consuming a warm glass of water, or a lovely herbal tea! 

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