When we think of consuming excessive calories, most of us imagine that these come from the food we eat. We often forget that what we drink contributes hugely to our calorie consumption too. Most of the time we are unaware of the trap we can fall into with our liquid consumption. In fact, drinking a glass of wine, a pint of beer or a can of coke can add significant amounts of calories to our diets.
Several studies have revealed that routine consumption of diet sodas, even one a day, can contribute to a higher likelihood of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, diabetes, metabolism syndrome and high blood pressure in addition to weight gain.
Studies have found that the average soft drink is approximately 20 fluid ounces (almost 600 mls) and contains at least 250 calories, which is equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar.
Let’s look at what happens to our body after an hour of drinking Coke.
First 10 minutes
In about ten minutes, ten teaspoons of sugar have hit your system. This is 100 % of your recommended daily intake.
First 20 minutes
In 20 minutes, your blood sugar spikes, which causes an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any form of sugar into fat.
First 40 minutes
Now, the caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and the adenosine receptors in your brain is blocked.
After 45 minutes
Your body increases your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centres in your brain. This is similar to the way heroin works.
Next 60 minutes
The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism.
After 60 minutes
The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play, making you need to pee constantly. This makes you flush out the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones.
Data from a number of studies, including the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals’ Follow Up Study have revealed that consuming too much Coke or any sugary drink can lead to Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
So, next time you crave for a can of Coke, remember the harm it does to your body. But Coke is not the only drink that is harmful. There are several sugary drinks, juices and alcoholic beverages that can wreak havoc to your system. You might consider yourself a moderate wine drinker, but do you realise that you are consuming an excess of 2,000 calories per month? This is equivalent to about 141 ice creams in a year.
Let’s take a look at how alcohol can have a negative effect on your body:
When you drink, about 20% of ingested alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream from the stomach and this increases the level of insulin in your body. About 80% gets absorbed in the small intestine as food. Next, your liver burns alcohol instead of fat, protein or carbohydrate because it’s a toxin. It tries to get rid of alcohol very quickly.
If you have alcohol with any other micro-nutrients, your liver works on your alcohol first. Consequently, you will suffer from malnutrition. Your body won’t absorb other fats and sugars as efficiently as it needs to, which will ultimately slow down your metabolism and over time you put on weight.
Alcohol is anti-nutrient
It stops the absorption of vital vitamins and minerals, especially zinc, calcium, magnesium, vitamins B and C. These minerals and vitamins help us to cope with stress as well as regulate our moods, energy levels etc.
Alcohol is diuretic
As alcohol is diuretic, it makes you pass water very quickly, leaving you dehydrated. Dehydration will make you feel hungry and you end up craving for food when you actually need water.
**Interferes with your metabolism **
Your liver prioritises the breakdown of alcohol, thus compromising on its usual functioning, such as detoxifying the body, hormone regulation, the production of bile, cholesterol and protein metabolism. Your liver has to stop its regular function so that it breaks down the alcohol first.
You should try and drink alcoholic beverages very moderately. However, there are alternatives like water, green tea, lemon water, cucumber water, blender juices, ginger root or ginger tea that you can switch to if you are looking to lead a healthier lifestyle.
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