Sugar Sweetened Beverages are drinks that have sugar added to them, these include juice style drinks, sports drinks, some flavoured waters, some milkshake drinks, and of course fizzy drinks. The market for these type of drinks has rapidly grown over the past few decades and they are now drunk regularly on a daily basis by many rather than being reserved for treats and special occasions.
Some of these drinks are obviously not healthy, but some look on the surface to be a good choice – but are they? The problem is these drinks contain “empty calories”, but virtually no nutrients. People often don’t think about the calories in them, so these turn into extra calories resulting in weight gain.
One study conducted on over 100,000 people showed drinking sugar sweetened beverages was associated with a mean weight gain of 0.36kg over 4 years. It was suggested that replacing sugary drinks with 1 cup of water per day would lead to 0.49kg weight loss over 4 years (1). That’s from drinks alone!
Research shows us that sugary drinks are responsible for increasing weight gain, fat gain, blood glucose levels and decrease fat metabolism. Regularly drinking them has been shown to change the way the muscles used fuel, leading to them choosing sugar over fat and similar changes are seen in the body as seen in people with type 2 diabetes and obesity (2). This shows that sugary drinks can predispose us to these chronic diseases too.
So if you want to look after your long term health and your weight these sugary drinks need to be kept as a treat. Swap them for water, no added sugar squash, milk, herbal/fruit tea, tea or coffee.
This post was written for Slimsticks.
1. Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Jan 15.
Changes in water and beverage intake and long-term weight changes: results from three prospective cohort studies.
2. Eur J Nutr. 2013 Apr;52(3):937-48.
Adaptive metabolic response to 4 weeks of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in healthy, lightly active individuals and chronic high glucose availability in primary human myotubes.