Drink up – it is a given that we need to keep the body hydrated in order to perform and function accordingly during our daily activities. From warm beverages to flavoured water, the options are limitless into staying hydrated or simply enjoying the pleasure of your favourite drink. However, could quenching your thirst do more harm than good to your health and body? The following list of the five most unhealthy drinks shall disclose the ‘real’ truth of what these drinks consist of and the alarming effects it could pose on an individual.
1. Carbonated beverages ‘fizzy cold drinks’
A temptation very difficult to resist, each person has their favourite ‘fizzy cold drink’ – easily identified through the transparent glass door of most of the beverage fridges in almost every grocery store, café and restaurant/take-away place. Other than the short-term enjoyment, these soft drinks will not be beneficial at all. Packed with sugars (the average can contains up to ten teaspoons of sugar) and empty kilojoules; ‘fizzy’ favourites have no nutritional value with the main ingredient phosphate delivering toxic action of accelerating the aging process. A shocking calculation of consuming more than 2.5 sugary fizzy beverages per day can indefinitely increases the chance of diabetes and the risk of suffering from cardio-vascular disease.
For most beloved coffee drinkers, coffee is an indispensable part of their daily lives. Unfortunately, despite its popularity, there are concerning negative effects of this hot beverage. With most people needing the extra energy boost offered from caffeinated coffee may be costly to their health. Caffeine fuels the rise of blood pressure levels, and therefore should not be taken before any physical exercise. Another downfall, being that caffeine is a diuretic, or a substance increasing urine production, frequent coffee drinkers are at risk of dehydration. If engaged in vigorous exercise, you are likely to be sensitive to the dehydrating effects of coffee.
3. Energy Drinks
The average energy drink contains nearly 4 times the amount of caffeine found in commercial carbonated beverages, which is a concern especially for athletes. Caffeine forces your adrenal glands to secrete enormous amounts of adrenaline that enables a high energy boost even when those glands are exhausted. Therefore, continuous high doses of caffeine can expose one to a potential ‘burn-out’ when glands are severely depleted. Energy drinks are also filled with either sugar or ‘artificial sweeteners’ that contribute to one of many problems that include fat build-up in the liver and gradual insensitivity to insulin, also known as type II diabetes.
The health implications of alcohol are endless – excessive drinking has negative affects on the brain, the heart and most organs needed to keep the body functioning properly. Alcohol halts the production of the antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which helps keep you hydrated. If dehydrated, the body’s blood sugar levels will be affected and you won’t be able to perspire effectively in order to regulate your normal body temperature. Excessive alcohol consumption is known to cause hepatitis or lead liver failure due to the accumulation of fat.
5. Flavoured water
Flavoured water may ensure a low-kilojoule drink with a sprinkle amount of vitamins, but it is also full of sugar. Most individuals are unaware of the artificial sweetener used in these distilled bottled waters known as aspartame. While aspartame in low doses is safe for many, it does come with potential physical and mental side effects such as dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea and mood swings. Shopping advice: refer to the label, if there are contents other than the water and natural supplements – rather leave it on the shelf.
Leandre de Bruyn is working as a copywriter for the leading supplier of juicers in South Africa.