Soft Drink or Cold Drink – the first thing that comes to your mind right after you come home, especially during summers. Soft drink has been a part of our daily lives for a long time now with some consuming it round the clock. Soft drinks are nothing but an amalgamation of carbonated water, natural or artificial flavouring and sweetener. The roots of soft drinks can be traced back to the 18th century. Constant improvements throughout the times have brought soft drink to what it is today.
The main reason soft drinks are called so is to distinguish it from the hard drinks i.e. alcoholic beverages. Soft drinks are consumable by all at any point of time and provide the refreshment the consumer craves. While all this may sound really compelling. There has been solid evidence over the years relating the continuous consumption of these drinks to obesity and other weight related issues. Other issues that soft drinks have been remotely linked to include hypertension, dental decay, bone density and bone loss. Research shows that consuming 340ml of sugary drink a day (which equates to less than one can) increases your risk of type 2 diabetes by 22% when compared to drinking one can a month or less.
To counter obesity and weight related issues, soft drink companies came up with ‘Diet’ version of their normal sodas. It has been fairly successful among those who are health conscious but still want their share of cola. A research however shows that the diet version may do more harm than good. Researchers have found that drinking diet colas can not only result in poor memory, but also increases the chance of stroke and dementia by 3 times. As it is both, sugary and diet colas have been linked to accelerated brain ageing in separate studies.
In the study conducted on Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the researchers examined data including, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and cognitive testing results of 4,000 participants. These people included the ones who consumed more than two sugary drinks a day of any type and also those who consumed more than three sodas per week. The results found multiple signs of accelerated brain ageing, poor episodic memory, and a shrunken hippocampus, all factors linked with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
There are people and organizations who oppose the findings of the study citing that, despite the claims, the authors conducting the study admitted to not finding a cause and effect relation and provided no science-based evidence to support their theories. The National Obesity Forum in England however has advised people to not believe the opposer’s of the study and to switch to healthier alternatives and minimize the dependency on soft drinks.
At the end of the day, the choice of consuming or using something is entirely up to us. Regulating your consumption of soft drinks can help in avoiding the chances of diseases mentioned above. It is universally known that excess of anything, no matter how good, can do more harm than good.