A Hard Look at Soft Drinks and Sports Drinks

If I were suddenly made king of our country, my first act would be to banish sodas from the realm! Two thirds of Americans are soda drinkers, and most of them have no idea that a twelve ounce can of soda contains a full ten teaspoons of sugar! Can you imagine adding this much sugar to a single glass of any other beverage? Nationally, the huge sugar load from soft drinks accounts for a third of America’s total daily sugar intake! This promotes diabetes, high blood pressure, and adds to our ever expanding waist lines.

Additionally, several studies have shown that simple carbonation may have adverse effects on your bones. Frighteningly, there is a positive correlation between children’s bone fracture risk and soft drink consumption. Furthermore, excessive consumption of sugary carbonated beverages also increases the risk of dental problems, especially in children. This includes weakened enamel and decay.

Do not be fooled into thinking you are safe if you drink only diet soda: drinking diet soda actually dramatically increases the risk of obesity! This apparent paradox is believed to be a result of the sweet taste of the drink, promoting our addiction to sugary tastes, and increasing our chances of further snacking. Drinking as little as one can of soda per day, either regular or diet, is associated with an almost 50% increased risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a key predecessor of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Other bad choices include artificial fruit flavored drinks and punch, which are simply sugar water, promoted to mothers as a healthy choice through their pitiful claims of added vitamin C. Sports Drinks contain electrolytes, and have been successfully marketed to replenish the fluids lost to sweat after a workout. Yet, ask yourself this: how would sweat taste? Because it would be hard to sell bottled sweat, the sports drink industry has compromised by adding large amounts of sugar and flavorings to the drinks. Sports drinks should be consumed only after a significant, sweat producing workout. Otherwise, their huge sugar content is something to be avoided.

So, what is healthy to drink?
1. Filtered water, flavored with lemon, cucumber, ginger, berries, or mint.
2. Low sodium vegetable juice.
3. Green tea, and up to 2 cups of coffee a day.
4. Other herbal teas
5. Super green drinks, containing barley greens, kale, spirulina, etc.
6. Limited quantities of unfiltered fruit juice

Give yourself and your family the gift of a long and healthy life! A huge step is avoiding the bad beverages and drinking lots of healthy, refreshing beverages instead.

About the Author

Dr. Teitelbaum practices Osteopathic manipulation, prolotherapy, spinal decompression, acupuncture, and Chinese herbal medicine in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. For over 25 years, he has provided conservative, natural treatment for sports injuries, back pain, neck pain, headaches, posture problems, overuse injuries, and joint pain. Commonly treated conditions include muscle, tendon and ligament damage of the neck, low back, tailbone, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle and foot.