Food And Nutrition

Sugary drinks in 2024: Types, risks, and how to stop being addicted

sugary drinks

Sugary drinks are simply drinks that have high sugar content. When something is sugary, it is highly sweetened. However, drinks aren’t the only things that can be sweetened. Solids, such as cake, cookies, biscuits, chocolates, bread, and bread spreads can also have a high sugar taste. Many people keep wondering if sweetened foods are bad or good or are the cause of diseases like diabetes.  Taking too much sugar can be very harmful and lead to health issues like type 2 diabetes, weight gain, obesity, and heart disease.  In this article, you’ll get to discover possible health risks sugar poses, types of highly sweetened liquids, simple alternatives, and more. 

  • Regular soda 
  • Fruit drinks
  • Sweetened teas
  • Sport drinks 
  • Flavored waters 
  • Energy drinks 

Regular soda

Soft drinks like Coca-Cola, Fanta, lemon-lime soda, and root beer all contain high amounts of added sugar and are carbonated.

Fruit drinks 

A lot of fruit juices, most especially the ones that aren’t 100 percent pure juice, and can contain added sugars. Some examples are fruit punches, apple juice, and grape juice.

Sweetened teas 

Many flavored teas like bottled or pre-sweetened ones can be high in sugar.

Flavored waters 

Some of these waters can contain sugar 

Energy drinks 

They usually have no levels of sugar and caffeine to give you a quick energy boost.

WHAT ARE THE  EFFECTS OF SUGARY DRINKS 

There are several health risks linked to the intake of highly sweetened beverages. Consistent drinking of these beverages can lead to weight gain, obesity, heart disease, kidney disease, tooth problems, skin problems(like premature aging and acne), weakened bones, and overeating. Reducing the amount of times you indulge them can help you maintain a healthier and happier sense of living.

POPULAR SUGAR-FREE DRINKS THAT ARE GOOD FOR YOU

There are other drinks that have no sugar. These are better options to choose from. Here are some non-sugar options:

  • Water
  • Herbal tea
  • Plain tea
  • Sparkling water (remember to check the label)
  • Unsweetened coffee 
  • Club soda
  • Vegetable juice
  • Lemon water
  • Coconut water 
  • Kombucha 
  • Maple water

It is imperative that you limit your intake of sugary beverages and go for healthier options.

BEST WAYS TO REDUCE SUGAR IN YOUR BODY

Some people wonder how they can flush down some of that sugar intake after Christmas or their best friend’s birthday party. While you can’t completely remove all the sugar, you can most definitely reduce it in a healthy manner. Some of them include:

1 . Cut out sugary beverages 

2 . Go for natural sugars in whole foods like fruits, veggies, and lean proteins

3 . Eat more fiber

4 . Reduce deserts and sweets and go for options like yogurt with a little honey instead.

5 . Read labels for hidden sugars

6 . Stay active and exercise regularly. You can try high interval training (HIIT) or cardio like jump ropes and running. Regardless of the workout you pick, just make sure you move your body.

7 . Manage your stress by practicing stress-reduction techniques like yoga or meditation.

8 . Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated 

9 . Get enough sleep by aiming for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.

10 . Eat in moderation by being mindful of portion sizes.

ARE THERE HEALTH BENEFITS IN SUGARY DRINKS

Most sugary drinks contain added sugars which can cause health issues when consumed in excess. If you have a sweet tooth there are other ways you can still enjoy the taste of sweetness. Some examples are fruits like oranges, pineapples, apples, oranges, and watermelon contain natural sugar. These options can be your go-to for when you want to enjoy a sweet taste, without risking your health. 

IS IT HEALTHY TO COMPLETELY CUT OUT SUGAR?

Cutting out added sugars is a good and healthy choice, however, cutting out all forms of sugar isn’t and might not be possible. There is sugar in a lot of foods and deciding to remove it entirely will cause you to lose out on some healthy food options. The sugar in fruits, milk, and vegetables isn’t bad for you but those in sweetened beverages and snacks can cause heart problems. 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU STOP EATING SUGAR FOR 12 WEEKS?

There are health benefits when you stop eating added sugar. And when you stop eating them for three months it can significantly improve your body and overall health. Here are 9 effects of reducing added to your diet.

  • You’ll become more mentally sharp
  • Weight loss
  • Better skin
  • Better energy levels
  • Improved immune system 
  • Fewer bathroom breaks 
  • Your teeth will thank you 
  • Stronger bones
  • You’ll be helping your kidneys 

You’ll become more mentally sharp

your brain functions better when you reduce sugar

Removing sugar from your diet can help increase mental clarity and focus. A 2014 study in Nutritional Neuroscience showed the negative changes in the brain’s frontal cortex linked to the intake of sugar. Quitting soft drinks can make you smarter because taking too much sugar for a long of time can negatively affect your brain. The moment you quit, you’ll be able to think more clearly, focus easier, and improve your memory. 

Weight loss

limiting sugar helps with weight loss

Sugar affects the hormones responsible for maintaining a healthy weight, however lowering or completely removing sugar can result in weight loss, especially if you always eat excess sugary and high-calorie foods and beverages.

Better skin 

When you quit sugar for a period of time, you’ll notice a glow in your skin. This is because a high-sugar diet has been linked to skin issues like acne, rashes, pimples, and blemishes. So, therefore,  keeping a sugar-free diet and adopting one that is packed with whole foods and plenty of water can change the game.

Better energy levels 

Sugar crashes and this can lead to tiredness and mood swings, however, becomes less when it is removed from your diet. You’ll start to feel lighter, brighter, and happier. 

Improved immune system 

low sugar intake helps improve immune system

When you stop eating sugar, you won’t get sick as often. Eating high amounts of sugar can take a toll on your immune system. So staying away from them can help you live better. 

Fewer bathroom breaks 

sugary drinks increase urination

Most soft drinks are a diuretic which causes a lot of fluid loss. Which means you will need to pee more often( than you’d like). They also irritate your bladder and can increase the chances of bladder infections and Urinary tract infections. 

Your teeth will thank you 

less sugary drinks helps the teeth

Soft drinks can ruin your teeth. According to a study in 2013, drinking lots of soda can cause a lot of damage to your teeth. This is possible due to the acid present in soda, which eats away at your tooth enamel and leads to the risk of cavities and yellowing. So, if you want a whiter and healthier smile, turn away from soft drinks. 

Stronger bones 

less sugary drinks help the bones

Several studies have shown that there is a relationship between soft drinks and osteoporosis. A 2014 study discovered how consuming soft drinks on a regular increased the risk of hip fractures in post-menopausal women by 14 percent. 

You’ll be helping your kidney

Kidneys help with the detoxification of the body. Studies have found that you’ll save your kidneys from the risk of diseases and failure when you stop taking sugar.

Sugary drinks contain no essential nutrients, just sugar. It basically has nothing nutritious to offer but unnecessary calories. If you love to treat yourself sometimes that’s completely fine. However, always make sure you take them in moderation. Also, they don’t have to be your forever go-to for treats, there are healthier and more delicious meals you can try.

 The bottom line 

When you drink a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, it can have various adverse impacts on your health. Some of these are a higher risk of heart disease, tooth decay, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. No matter how “sweet” these drinks may be, it’s bad for the body. We must have it in moderation. 

If you want to lose weight, avoid chronic disease, and live longer, make sure you limit how frequently you take sugary drinks. 

Frequently asked questions

Does Water Have Sugar?

Drinking water does not contain sugar nor does it have carbs, fiber, or starches unless it has added flavorings such as juice water. Water is the most natural and healthy sugar-free option. It is great as it helps hydrate the body and has no calories or sugar. 

What Are The 3 Worst Drinks For High Blood Sugar? 

When in a situation of high blood sugar, staying away from sugary drinks is the best thing to do as they contain added sugar. However, there are some types of sugary drinks that raise blood sugar quickly, including, fruit punch, and sugary sodas such as Mountain Dew, Coca-Cola, mixed drinks, and Sprite.

Can We Live Without Sugar? 

You can live without added sugars as they offer no essential nutrients. But naturally occurring sugar comes with a variety of nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy. Choosing to remove all sugar could be really difficult cause you would also be eliminating foods like fruits and veggies, which are important nutrients your body needs. 

Is It Okay To Suddenly Stop Eating Sugar

If you’ve been a lover and indulger of sugary soda and the rest of them, it might be hard to abruptly stop eating sugar. If you’re used to eating it regularly, and suddenly stop, it may have consequences such as a drop in blood sugar levels, headaches, dizziness, or fatigue. Some people may feel down or depressed when they remove added sugars from their diet. This may be due to a decrease in dopamine release. However, all these symptoms are temporary and are usually gone 3-5 days later.  

Overall, stopping sugar all of a sudden may not be the best way to go about it. It is much better to reduce it gradually from your diet and pick up the pace from there. When you’re used to doing something, especially for a long period of time, suddenly stopping it may cause some issues, so make sure you do things step by step for better results. 

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