Synthetic drinks are perceived as the “other” drinking problem in society in which the addicts are mostly kids. Intense marketing efforts by large soft drink manufacturers have ensured this addiction.
Colas, some say, can be as harmful as cigarettes as they, like all soft drinks, contain a substance called anti-freeze which is carcinogenic (cancer causing). They can also dissolve our teeth enamel in just ten days. Synthetic soft drinks are highly acidic in nature because their pH is 3.4. To neutralize the effects of one glass of cola 32 glasses of high ph alkaline water is required.
Body Feels Tricked
Once synthetic preservatives are removed from the drinks we may not even get half the range of products on the supermarket shelf. Soft drinks are trendy and cool. Primarily among the young.
Scientific studies have shown that consumption of one or two soft drinks a day can expose one to ill health. Continued heavy consumption can lead to a variety of disorders.
Aspartame, Acesulfame K and Saccharin are artificial sweeteners used to replace sucrose sugar in “low calorie” or “diet” soft drinks. Your body feels tricked when it is given something which tastes like sugar but is not sugar and does not deliver the expected calories of sugar. According to researchers, synthetic sugar may actually sharpen your sweet craving and lead you to eat more later on. In a study spanning over 8 years among 1,550 soda drinkers ages 25-64, it was found that, for each can of diet soft drink consumed per day, a person's risk of obesity went up 41 percent.
Numerous Health Problems
In 2005 sale of synthetic drinks dropped for the first time in the US and the trend has continued since then. This is attributed to increasing consumer concern over health, including a desire to avoid excessive sugar and artificial ingredients. More and more consumers are switching to trendy beverages like fortified water, sparkling juices and bottled green tea.
According to different studies, various ingredients, such as aromatic substances, sweeteners, carbon dioxide, coloring matter, acids, preservatives, antioxidants and other additives used in synthetic soft drinks can lead to numerous health problems such as obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, osteoporosis, nutritional deficiencies, heart disease, and many neurological disorders.
High consumption can increase inflammation and cause gastronomic distress due to the inflammation of the stomach and erosion of the stomach lining. This leads to increase in acid levels (citric, malic and phosphoric acid) and cause painful stomachache.
Many synthetic drinks contain harmful ingredients which they are not obliged to disclose. These are ethyl alcohol, sodium alginate (possibly hazardous for pregnant women), brominated vegetable oil (found harmful to vital organs of animals and considered a health risk to heavy consumers of beverages) and caffeine. Heavy consumption can also interfere with the body’s metabolism of iron.
Harmful Bubbles and Fizz
The bubbles and fizz that we enjoy are basically carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide and phosphoric acid in these drinks make the bones weak by removing nutritious minerals. This has been confirmed by tests done on mice. Consumption of carbonated beverages is also known to cause dental cavities.
Consumer organizations in 20 countries recently urged the Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo to limit marketing in each of the countries in which they do business to help stem the global tide of childhood obesity.
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have been asked to cease all marketing of sugar-laden or caffeinated beverages to children under 16. They have also been urged to withdraw sweetened beverages, including sports drinks and non-carbonated fruit-flavored beverages and teas in all public and private elementary, middle, and high schools.
Synthetic Components in Drinks
Aromatic substances - The pleasant taste in the soft drinks comes from aromatic substances. They also provide the drink with better stability
Sweeteners - Sweeteners can be in the form of sugar, saccharin, and aspartame. Though aspartame in small doses is said to be harmless, it is one of the most controversial additives.
Carbonated Water - makes the drink more refreshing and adds a sensation that the drink is cooler than it actually is. Carbonation is done by adding carbon dioxide to water under pressure in chilled temperatures just before the soft drink is capped.
Acids - Citric acid, phosphoric acid and malic acid are most commonly used. Acidity in the drink balances the sweetness, and brings about freshness
Coloring matter - Color makes the drink appetizing.
Preservatives - Preservatives like natrium benzoate and potassium sorbate increase the life of the product. Sulphur dioxide is also used as a preservative. Sodium benzoate is used as a broad spectrum antimicrobial, inhibiting bacteria, molds and yeasts.
Antioxidants - Antioxidants like ascorbic acid prevent reactions that destroy aromatic substances in soft drinks
Other additives - Emulsifying agents, stabilizing agents, and thickening agents such as pectin, alginates and carraghen are also added to keep the drinks evenly distributed
Avoid All-Sugary Drinks
Parents of children who drink one soft drink a day should try an wean them to one a week, Even in this way after one year they’ll skim almost 50,000 calories and a whopping 65 cups of sugar from their diet. Dietitians recommend that all sugary drinks be replaced with all-natural beverage such as bottled water.
Parents are advised to keep a cooler in the kitchen or keep bottled water packed in their vehicle when travelling
Some Healthy Alternatives
- Fresh green coconut water - Highly alkaline and easy to digest. It has all the properties of a mother’s milk
- Sugarcane juice and melon drinks – these are rich in natural minerals
- Lime juice and butter milk – specially beneficial for summer months
- Dates – soak in water and crush in a mixer along with cardamom seeds. Add diluted coconut milk or just water to the desired consistency.
- Whole Food Nutrition Powder
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