Aerated drinks, more popularly known as soda’s, soda pops, fizzy drinks, soft drinks or carbonated beverages are the bane of every dietitian!
Why-you may ask? Well, good question-let’s put up a list of reasons for this:
1) For starters, what you are drinking is water with 8-10 teaspoons of sugar. So, essentially what you get is hydration with a load of unnecessary calories and zero nutrients!
2) That’s not all-what you also get are other chemicals like carbon dioxide (water is infused with CO2 to create the bubbles), phosphoric acid (H3PO4 or E338) and caffeine (C8H10N4O2).
3) Phosphoric acid is commonly used for rust removal-so why are soda manufacturers adding it to the drink? It is used as an acidifying agent to acidify colas and also gives colas their tangy flavor. Various studies have shown that phosphoric acid leaches the calcium from the bones and makes them brittle and over a period susceptible to osteoporosis. Not just that, high phosphorus intake has also been associated with tooth loss, periodontal disease, and gingivitis
4) Caffeine is a stimulant as well as a mild diuretic and has been known to be addictive. This is added to colas to give an instant boost as well as to get you addicted to it.
According to a 2006 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, older women who drink cola (diet, regular or decaffeinated) were seen to have significantly decreased mineral bone density, putting them at increased risk for bone fracture.
Dr. Marion Nestle from his book Food Politics states “The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times.”
Putting all this together: Soda/cola= weight gain+ brittle bones +tooth disease + zero nutrients!
That being said, what are the healthy alternatives to drink-diet soda?
No way-just because they substitute the sugar with artificial sweeteners, doesn’t make it a healthy drink! It still has the rest of the chemicals (phosphoric acid, CO2 and caffeine) along with the chemicals from the sweeteners. Instead, choose from these healthy drinks to quench your thirst:
1) Water- the natural ‘zero’ calorie drink that has no side effects.
2) Tender coconut water- also known as the ‘fluid of life’ is another natural thirst quencher that is loaded with electrolytes to replenish those lost by the body in the form of sweat.
3) Buttermilk/chaas- this one has added calcium which strengthens your bones.
The choice is yours-as the old saying goes “you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink”!
Q) What will you choose?