Thursday, September 30, 2010

Soft drinks AND diet soft drinks and sports drinks all fatten you....

Today's Post: Thursday, 9-30-2010

1. Many people know that regular soft drinks make you fat. Because of that, health knowledgeable people drink water, green tea, tea coffee, or carbonated water only over ice. (A drink with one fourth apple or grape or orange juice, one fourth cranberry juice and half carbonated water only over ice isn’t too bad and fattens far less than a fruit flavored soft drink. And, tea and coffee provide caffeine without fattening the way cola drinks do.)

First regular soft drinks add calories but do NOT make you less hungry. That fattens and spikes your blood sugar. The blood sugar spike then triggers an insulin surge which also helps fatten you. Then when your blood sugar crashes you get MORE hungry and for sugary foods too! So, regular soft drinks make you fat three ways. Yikes!

2. But of the many people who DO know that regular soft drinks fatten, since
60 % of Americans drink them, most of them think drinking diet soft drinks will solve the problem. Unfortunately this is NOT the case.

Diet soft drinks ALSO make you fat.

The research shows that they fatten about as much as regular soft drinks; and their artificial sweeteners may cause other health problems for some people according to what I’ve read.

What happens at a basic level, that research has found that even happens to mice they tested, is that when you drink a diet soft drink and taste the sweet taste, your body sets itself to deal with the sugar. When you don’t get the sugar, it makes you crave sugary foods – worse, it makes you eat even more because real sugary foods are not as sweet tasting as the artificial sweeteners.

This means that diet soft drinks are drink like appetite stimulators for sugary and fattening foods that themselves have virtually no calories. So, they are VERY effective fatteners for most of the people who drink them.

3. So, to make money from more health oriented people and young people, enterprising beverage companies decided to promote “sports drinks.”

Some sports drinks have vitamins and herbs that actually might have a health value. But you can get those cheaper and at a more controlled dose by taking them as supplements.

Some sports drinks have caffeine. But as we’ve seen, there are health OK drinks that have caffeine. Plus if you get caffeine several ways each day, you can overdose and get anxious or jittery and sleep badly enough you need extra caffeine you wouldn’t have needed at a more reasonable intake initially the next day due to the sleep disruption of the excess caffeine. (I should know. I used to drink that much coffee.)

But the real problem is that most sport drinks have added sugar. This does exactly the same thing in sports drinks that happens from the sugar in soft drinks and fattens people in exactly the same way.

So, drinking sports drinks that have sugar as almost all of them do, fattens people just like soft drinks!!

This week a story came out that teens in Texas thought that sports drinks were OK for your health.

I saw it on HealthDay online health news. Their title was:

“Study Finds Teens Think Sports Drinks Are Healthy.”

And, in fact the teens that drank sports drinks instead of soft drinks did exercise more and eat better than those who drank soft drinks only.

They would have been better off healthwise and be less fat if they drank some water, some tea or coffee, and ate real fruit or drank a fruit smoothie or even a real glass of fruit juice instead.

The researchers further pointed out that while some heavily exercising teen athletes might burn off the extra calories, teens who spent that time playing computer games were particularly likely to add fat if they drank such sports drinks.

The researchers also noted that people who in their work, yard work, or exercise sweat very heavily might need the electrolyte replacement in a drink like Gatorade.

Gatorade may have a balanced electrolyte profile. But it also tastes dreadful and makes heavy use of artificial colors. It also has extra sugar – about 60% as much as a regular soft drink. So, it likely fattens many of the people who drink it also.

If someone who exercises enough or does so on a hot day to need electrolyte replacement takes 400 to 800 mg a day of magnesium, they don’t need more in a sports drink. I personally think they would do better to drink two glasses of water, a glass of tomato juice (which has salt for sodium), and a glass of orange juice which has extra potassium.

(Lastly, when they are done exercising and feel blasted, a drink that is half tomato juice and half dark beer is not that much more fattening than a couple glasses of Gatorade. They’ll recover just fine with the tomato juice and beer combination and will feel recovered faster! And, if both the tomato juice and the beer are chilled, the taste is surprisingly good if you’ve never tried it.)

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