Drinking to Death
Who would not want to take a sip of sizzling fizzy drink, which is advertised around the world as a thirst quencher with a tasty twist? In cans and bottles the world drinks billions of liters of these sugary soft beverages each year. Over years, health experts have been warning about the alarming rise in the health related problems and deaths in the worst case, which are directly related to soft drinks consumption. The sodas and colas which remain the darling for billions around the world are proven to be a devil in disguise adding up loads of sugars and thereby calories. Reports after reports, tests after tests these soft drinks have only added up the harmful effects on health and not one deserving reason to consume.
Most of us are aware of the adverse effects of alcohol on health. But relatively the awareness of the fact that sugar is no less than in affecting human health remains very poor. Medically, from a myriad of researches we have began to understand that sugar akin to alcohol affects human liver in equal degrees. Besides obesity which is often cited as the prominent health effect as a result of regular consumption of sweetened soft drinks there are an array of health problems linked to it. One of the prominent among the others’ is the liver related diseases sue to sugary drinks consumption.
Speaking medically, craving for sugar, at some point of time becomes a reality, and this is much similar to alcohol addiction. While a sugar rich product is consumed, the taste buds present in our tongue sent signals to the brain stem. From there these signals travel move on to various parts of the brain, especially to the cerebral cortex, the region where the brain processes various tastes. From here the signal activates the brain reward system to other parts of the brain via complex neural networks. The reward system is basically a series of chemical and electrical path ways. The ultimate aim of these reward system is to motivate the body to consume variety of food, thereby increasing the chances of receiving variety of nutrients for healthy body growth.
Though it seems good, which actually is while everything is within the limits, things turn bad when this reward system is over activated. Eventually it results in craving and an increased tolerance in sugar. This is exactly how the human brain response to drugs as well.
Dopamine is one of the most important chemical in this rewarding mechanism which is a neurotransmitter as well. These dopamine receptors are scattered across our forebrain and consuming more sugar over activates the chemical, resulting in inducing more consumption. Hence after a while an individual’s tolerance to actually steeps and eventually they end up consuming more and more sugar.
Feel fresh, Get charged- are some of the usual catchy phrases the soft drink producers use to lure customers. This simple fact provider given below takes us through the bodily responses that line up after one consumes his favourite can of cola. It should be noted that though the Coca-cola brand is taken here we might very well consider it as a sample, for other soft drinks and sugar rich sodas have almost similar effects, only showing minor variations.
The role of liver is highlighted throughout the information. But this is not all. Besides liver related diseases, consuming these sugary drinks is linked with cardio vascular diseases, bone density reduction, calcium erosion in teeth and even cancer. Recent reports from WHO (World Health Organization) has underlined the dramatic increase in diabetics related deaths around the world.
WHO has been repeatedly warning about the health risks associated with over consumption of sugar? Studies on sugar consumption by people around the world reveal nearly half of the extra sugar consumed by individuals comes from drinking sodas and other soft beverages alone.
So it’s at most important to understand that consuming sugary drinks is neither a style statement nor the so called energy drinks improving your health over all. As far as quenching thirst is concerned water is truly the elixir of life and nothing else can replace it.
Readers might just think, when quite a lot of foods and beverages come with added sugar, why would I target sugary drinks alone? In a way you’re part right. Literally sugar is added to many of our regularly consumed food items – raw sugar, fruit juice, honey, yogurt, candies, chocolates, ice creams, sauces and ketchup, and many others. Yet sugary drinks deserve special mention and the above infographic just confirms it.