How much do you know about those sugary drinks you reach for during your afternoon slump?
The fact is sugary drinks can play havoc on our productivity and our health. Not only leading us to feel slower in the afternoon but also leading us to have long term health problems.
With such an array of sugary drinks and energy drinks to choose from in the supermarkets, we are bombarded with choice. But this choice isn’t good for our health. Even some of the ‘healthy’ alternatives are often filled with sugar.
Call it great marketing or just a tendency to love the sweet stuff, many of us still reach for a sugar ladened drink when we need an afternoon pick-me-up.
To help you make a more conscious and healthy choice, we’ve revealed ten things you should know about sugary drinks.
Here in the UK, we love sugary drinks. In a report by PureGym, Brits drink an average of 322 cans a year. That’s the equivalent of 2 litres a week.
The good news is, we aren’t top of the list. Germany takes first place with an average consumption of 432 cans a year. Next is Denmark with 378 cans a year, and then the Czech Republic with 375 cans a year.
When we’re feeling stressed or tired our body naturally wants to reach for sugary or high-fat foods. According to research in The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, sugary-drinks can help relieve stress by blunting the stress hormone cortisol.
This sounds great, but due to the emotional response that sugar gives you, it leads to your body wanting more.
In a report conducted by Cancer Research, teenagers in the UK drink enough sugary-drinks to fill a bathtub.
The charity reviewed data from the national diet survey and found children of all ages were consuming too much sugar in drinks.
For an average teenager drinking a 600ml bottle of fizzy pop, this would exceed the recommended daily allowance for sugar. One bottle is a whole day’s sugar for a teenager in just one drink.
While healthier alternatives are cropping up, one study at the University of Surrey found that additives E102 and E338 were common in most of the popular fizzy drinks brands.
One of the largest studies of its kind on sugary-drinks was conducted in 2013. The research revealed that consuming one soft drink a day increases type 2 diabetes risk by a fifth.
The study found that people who drank sugar-sweetened drinks were at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For every additional drink per day, there was an 18% increase in developing the disease.
According to European food guidelines, a five-year-old should have no more than 19 grams of sugar in a day. A 10-year-old no more than 24 grams of sugar, and teenagers and adults no more than 30 grams of sugar.
However, most sugary-drinks exceed our daily allowance in one drink. Per can drinks contain an average of 20 – 60 grams of sugar.
A study in the science journal, General Dentistry, found that cola is ten times more corrosive as fruit juice in the first three minutes of drinking.
Furthermore, the study discovered that drinking four cans of sugary drinks a day can increase your risk of tooth erosion by up to 252%.
You may be well aware that the more sugar you consume the more damage it can have on our diet and lifestyle. But a study found that those who drank sugary drinks regularly saw their waistlines expand by nearly three times as much as non-drinkers.
Reaching for a can or bottle of sugary drink provides you with no nutritional benefit. Fizzy drinks are predominantly made from sugar and water and give your body nothing in the way of nutrition. Instead, swap that sugar ladened drink for a glass of water and a light snack.
If you’re trying to remain focussed at work then sugary drinks may not be your friend. Scientists in America conducted a study on the impact of fizzy drinks on our memory.
In the research, mice fed the equivalent of five cans of sugary drinks a day had worse memories than mice without added sugar in their diet.