Debunking Soda Myths

Soft drinks are making headlines all over the place. By now, everyone’s heard about the New York City soda ban, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted to ban the sale of sugary drinks in sizes exceeding 16 ounces. In other news, the average American consumes about five percent of their daily calories from sugar-sweetened beverages. Some experts place this country’s obesity epidemic squarely at the feet of sodas and other drinks crammed full of sugar.

So what’s the deal? There is so much conflicting information floating around that makes it hard to determine what you should do. Should we all switch to diet soda, or do we just need to give up the darker soft drinks? Is there life after water? And what’s the deal with High Fructose Corn Syrup? The answers to these questions lie in debunking six of the most common sugary drink myths.

Six Common Soda Myths:

  1. “Diet soda is healthier than regular soda.” Just because something doesn’t have sugar in it, doesn’t mean that it’s any better for you. The sweetness from the artificial sweeteners trick your body into thinking that calories are on the way and it gears up your digestive system to get ready for them, which can lead to weight issues.
  2. “Energy drinks are healthier and more effective than coffee.” The truth is, a cup of black coffee has more caffeine than your average energy drink; part of the boost from energy drink comes from the high amounts of sugar that they contain.
  3. “Clear soda is better for you than dark soda.” The main difference between clear soft drinks and dark sodas is that the clear ones don’t usually contain caffeine, but they still have just as much sugar.
  4. “Real sugar is healthier than soda made with high fructose corn syrup.” Both of these sweeteners break down in the body nearly identically, and the real danger is in the amount that we consume. There’s virtually no difference between these sugars.
  5. “A sports drink is a necessary part of a workout.” Unless you’re working out intensely for over an hour, your body probably only needs a few glasses of water to balance itself. If that’s not enough, just add a dash of salt for a DIY energy drink without the calories.
  6. “All calories are the same, regardless of where they come from.” Research suggests that rapidly consuming a sugary drink doesn’t stimulate the production of leptin, the hormone that tells us when we’ve had enough and signals fullness. This can lead to overconsumption of these high calorie drinks; calories that are often overlooked when people are factoring their calorie count for the day.

The final answer on sugary drinks is that sometimes nothing hits the spot like a cold soda pop. When the craving hits, indulge it and enjoy. The key to a well-balanced life is moderation and that goes double for sugary beverages. If you have any questions about your diet, contact your nutritionist, Chiropractic team or primary care Physician. They’ll be able to help you address your specific dietary needs.

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