Why are sweet drinks so bad for your health?

Why are sweet drinks so bad for your health

Sweetened beverages, either with sugar or sweeteners, cause a lot of disorder in the body: they damage the heart, reduce performance in sports and, ultimately, harm your health.

Why are sweet drinks so bad for your health

Sweet refreshing drinks are harmful to health, both those sweetened with sugar and those that use sweeteners. In supermarkets, these types of drinks fill meters of shelves and include lemonades, cola drinks, tonics, iced teas, energy drinks…

Many people still believe that if something were harmful it would be forbidden and you would not be able to buy it in the supermarket, but this opinion is wrong.


Sugary or sweetened sodas harm health in several ways. To begin with, whether they contain sugar or sweeteners, they do not provide anything else, that is, they do not contain nutrients, so they do not provide anything.

In the case that the sweetener is sugar, we speak of “empty calories” (without micronutrients), something that can only contribute to overweight, obesity, diabetes and inflammation of the body, which can lead to a series of problems.

Canned energy drinks are usually around 225 kcal; lemonades and orangeade, about 200 kcal and energy drinks in extra-large cans (500 ml) provide about 350 kcal, which corresponds to 15% of the daily energy requirement.


In April 2021, the Journal of Public Health published a meta-analysis evaluating 15 cohort studies with a total of more than one million participants.

Drinking sugary beverages led to a 12% higher risk of death from any cause and a 20% higher risk of premature cardiovascular death.

Interestingly, the results for sweetened beverages were very similar, and the risk of premature cardiovascular death even increased by 23 percent.

The danger increases linearly, which means that the more drinks you consume, the greater the risk of mortality.


Another study, which saw the light of day in March 2021, involved 17 volunteers, young men active in sport, who took successively a placebo and a drink with sucrose (common sugar).

The researchers asked them to drink 4 glasses of the drink that provided a total of 300 g of sugar daily. On the other hand, their diet was controlled to be balanced to check the effect of excess sugar (the researchers wanted to check not only the effects of sugary drinks, but also that of a diet with too much added sugar).

As expected, when they drank the placebo drink there were no changes in their metabolic variables. Instead, when they took the excess sugar, after only 15 days, the following changes in their state occurred:

  • The participants had gained an average of 1.3 kg in weight.
  • His BMI increased by 0.5 points.
  • Her waist circumference increased by 1.5 cm.
  • His cholesterol (the LDL value) increased from 19.54. At 25.52 mg / dl.
  • His triglycerides rose from just under 79 to 115 mg / dl.
  • His blood pressure also increased.

At the same time, his athletic performance declined:

  • Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) or cardiorespiratory fitness fell from around 48 to 41. This value describes the ability to transport oxygen to the muscles. The higher the value, the better physical condition the person is.
  • Maximum heart rate also decreased, from 186 to 179
  • Exercise time also decreased.
  • Exercise exhaustion increased.

From these data, what happens to a person if they continue to consume excess sugar for years can only be imagined?

In the case of drinks with non-caloric sweeteners, the negative effects are produced mainly by their negative action on the intestinal microbiota


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