After studying almost half a million people over 16 years, the International Agency for Research on Cancer found that those who drank two or more glasses of soda per day, whether regular or diet, were 17% more likely to die than those who drank less than one glass of soda per month.  Interestingly, those who drank diet sodas had a higher risk of death from cardiovascular diseases while those who consumed sugar-sweetened drinks were more likely to die from digestive diseases such as those of the liver, pancreas or intestines.  Whereas more research may be needed to understand the different diseases associated with artificial sweeteners vs sugar, the link to early death from both exists.

Sugary drinks include sodas, fruit punch, lemonade, sweetened powdered drinks, sports and energy drinks.  A typical 12 oz can of soda has 7 – 10 teaspoons of added sugar and about 150 calories, almost all of which come from the sugar.  To make matters worse, 20 oz bottles and “super-sized” cups have become commonplace.  Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are reaching epidemic proportions.

Instead of soft drinks, your best bet is water.  If you like the bubbles, try sparkling water, either plain or naturally flavored.  For a little sweetness or extra flavor, add a splash of juice or a slice of lemon or lime.  Coconut water is a great alternative to sports drinks and is a natural source of potassium and electrolytes.  Iced and green teas are healthy options full of antioxidants and benefits to your health.

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