Flavored, non-alcoholic carbonated drinks are very popular, especially with kids and teenagers. It’s very easy to get addicted to this fizzy and sugary drink which is already proven ever since it was first mass produced. Whether you drink it during meals or just simply refreshing yourself in a hot summer’s day, carbonated drinks have indeed embedded itself to the eating lifestyle of any modern man. You can easily buy them anywhere today. They are cheap, the selection is wide and there’s no age requirement to drink it unlike alcoholic beverages. Below are some of the popular carbonated drinks today.
Popular Carbonated Drinks Today
- Lemonade – carbonated lemonade usually consists of lemon flavor, sugar and carbonated water. Pink lemonade is made from the same recipe (sometimes sweeter), but with red coloring added.
- Cola – used to be flavored by Kola nuts and vanilla, but most often contains artificial flavoring and caffeine these days. The Coca-Cola brand came about in 1886, and has since popularized the cola flavor worldwide.
- Cream soda – a carbonated rink with a creamy vanilla flavor-base.
- Fruit flavors, like orange, lemon-lime and raspberry
Carbonated drinks are generally very sweet to the taste, with a few exceptions like tonic water, or sparkling mineral water. Sweet carbonated drinks are usually sweetened by one of the following ingredients:
- Artificial sweetener
- High-fructose corn syrup
Carbonated Drinks’ Pros and Cons
Like with many foods, there are pros and cons to consuming carbonated drinks. It is very important to know and understand all of them because any negligence accompanied with unhealthy consumption can lead to serious health complications. Weigh in the ups and downs of consuming this fizzy drink as enumerated below.
- Great taste
- Alternative to alcohol, for adults
- Flat lemonade and ginger ale help reduce nausea in most people
- High calorie, causing health problems such as weight gain
- Caffeinated soft drinks can lead to nervous over stimulation, and caffeine-dependence
- Dental issues are linked to soft drink consumption
When consumed regularly or in excess, the over consumption of sugar or sugar substitutes make carbonated drinks bad for you. There are some alarming and serious health problems linked to carbonated drinks. Know and understand them in order to get a good picture as to why these drinks should also be consumed moderately.
Health Issues Linked To Carbonated Drinks
- Tooth decay – caused by the sugar content, and possibly also the carbonation. It has been suggested by dental specialists that the carbonated aspect of carbonated drinks can lead to acid erosion of tooth enamel, over time.
- Obesity – in the western world, rates of obesity have been growing at an alarming rate. This has been linked back to modern, sedentary lifestyles, as well as overindulgence in unhealthy foods and soft drinks. High caloric content makes sugary carbonated drinks a treat, rather than an everyday drink. Consistent consumption of too much sugar can also result in type 2 diabetes.
- Decrease in bone mass – studies show that the over consumption of carbonated drinks, when combined with a low calcium reading in the body, can lead to a decrease in bone density and strength.
- Caffeine/stimulant addiction – some colas contain caffeine, and so do many carbonated energy drinks (or contain another potent stimulant, like guarana). Consuming an excess of caffeine or other stimulant can lead to restlessness, sleeplessness, addiction, headaches and even heart palpitations.
Ways To Combat or Reduce Health Risks
- Limiting the amount of soft drinks consumed by you and your family.
- Avoiding, or limiting intake of high-caloric and caffeinated drinks.
- Cleaning teeth after drinking carbonated drinks, especially sugar-based ones.
- Choosing to drink sugar-free or ‘diet’ drinks, including sparkling mineral water, or soda water with a dash of fruit juice added. Or, simply stick to consuming non carbonated drinks.
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly.
There are many myths out there about carbonated drinks. One, for instance, regards the effect of carbonated drinks on meat. The myth suggests that the low PH level of carbonated drinks is ideal for acidic dissolving or a tenderizing effect on meat products. Such myths have already been tested by some experts and using soft drinks as a meat tenderizer is still the worst option you can do since it is not really that effective. Whilst it is true that some soft drinks can eat into tooth and bone, meat does not dissolve in soft drink.
Overall, carbonated drinks are proven to be enjoy by many regardless of age and gender all over the globe. However just like any thing we consume, too much of it will still give you serious health consequences that’s why every bottle or glass of this addictive liquid of pure refreshment should still be well thought of before drinking.