The real dangers of fizzy drinks
It seems the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (or ‘sugar tax’) introduced back in 2018 has done nothing to quash our nation’s love of fizzy drinks.
According to research by PureGym, Brits consume 322 cans of soft drinks per person, per year – that’s more than 2 litres a week. With the number of fizzy drinks being drunk by children rising, soft drink consumption is still very much a concern.
Whilst it remains early days when it comes to measuring the success of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, helping people understand the real dangers of fizzy drinks is something we remain passionate about here at Total Soft Water.
Read on to discover the troubling effects of drinking soft drinks and discover the healthier options for hydration…
There’s an increased risk of tooth and gum damage
One of the very first places you’ll feel the effects of a fizzy drink laden diet is in your mouth. The sugar content of our favourite fizzy drinks may not be a secret.
But many simply don’t understand just how damaging soft drinks are to the teeth and, more specifically, your enamel.
The sugar found in fizzy drinks actively wears away the enamel that works to protect the teeth – leaving them more sensitive, prone to pain, and susceptible to tooth decay.
Over time, continued drinking erodes the next layer of the tooth (dentin), making cavities much more likely.
The citric acid that fizzy drinks contain due to the carbonation process can also cause significant and sometimes irreversible damage to your teeth and gums.
You could look old beyond your years
It’s not just the health and appearance of your teeth that could suffer through your love of fizzy drinks. Your skin may also be directly affected by this sugary habit.
Zero sugar diets have become particularly popular in recent years as the effects of sugar on the skin become increasingly obvious.
A diet that’s high in sugar can trigger premature ageing. Dermatologists call the process the ‘sugar sag’ as the consumption of sugar makes collagen a less supportive structure causing the skin to sag and appear more wrinkled. And the effects don’t end there as The Flawless Program describes:
“The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs are introduced in the skin. Glycation, as a result of too much sugar intake, irritates and exacerbates skin conditions like eczema, acne, psoriasis, and rosacea. This is why some people can experience itching, redness, eczema or skin breakouts from eating high sugar foods such as candy, sweets, sugary drinks like soda, and so on.”
They’re really bad for your heart
The sugar content of fizzy drinks causes yet more chaos inside the body. The link between soft drinks and obesity is well defined. Yet internally, sugar’s ability to build up bad fats can cause artery blockages that make the risk of strokes and heart attacks even higher.
With increased weight gain comes more health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, liver damage, gallstones, kidney disease, pregnancy issues, and some types of cancer.
Your bones could suffer too
The acidic nature of fizzy drinks can result in the thinning of the bones. The phosphoric acid (which is regularly used as a preservative by soft drink manufacturers) lowers the calcium absorption of the bones.
The caffeine in fizzy drinks is also said to be a cause of low bone density, which makes the development of osteoporosis more likely in later life.
The best option for a healthier lifestyle?
Unfortunately, swapping full-fat soft drinks for low sugar alternatives isn’t enough to support a healthier lifestyle.
The use of sweeteners in these low or zero sugar drinks has been heavily criticised. Both full fat and diet drinks cause damage to your teeth and wider health due to their carbonated nature, acidity and caffeine content.
Filtered water remains the best, most hydrating choice. You’ll feel the benefits of swapping your soft drinks for this naturally sugar-free alternative in both the short and long term.
You can add more flavour without adding artificial sugars too by infusing filtered water with your favourite fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.