Do you find yourself drinking soda, sugary coffee drinks, or energy drinks without giving it a second thought because your body needs it to wake up or to get through the day? Do you experience a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows due to the caffeine and sugar consumed in these liquids that affects your mood, energy, and sleep? And lastly, do you want a way to reduce your consumption of these liquids?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then keep reading because this article will show you how sugar affects your body, the average amounts of sugar in common beverages, and how to make better drink choices. But first, let's test your knowledge with a couple of simple questions:
Question #1: Which of the following liquids is your body meant to function on?
- Soda or Diet Soda
- Sugary Coffee
- Energy Drink
Of course, you already know that the answer is water, but if you're the type of person that rarely takes a sip of water each day, then yet you're most likely making these decisions based on your taste buds and your past habits, not on what your body really needs. Water is a life sustaining liquid that your body was meant to consume to operate at 100% efficiency. The rest contain high doses of sugar or sugar substitutes that are highly addictive and harmful to your body.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends not exceeding the following amount of sugar intake per day:
- Children: 12 grams of sugar
- Women: 20 grams of sugar
- Men: 36 grams of sugar
Despite this recommendation, a single can of soda averages 39 grams of sugar, far exceeding the daily limit for anyone, yet people continue to consume it. So if you do plan on drinking some sugary drinks, it’s best to know the limit for your body. Even more interesting is the fact that some people take better care of their car then they do their own body, despite the fact that your own body serves as your primary vehicle to move about.
Question #2: What kind of fuel would you put inside this car?
- Cooking Oil
- Laundry Detergent
Most people treat their cars better than their bodies. And while the question is a bit silly, what if you drove up to a gas station and were given those other four options? And if you chose something other than gasoline, you might possibly travel a few miles, but your car would grind to a halt and suffer immediate damage and prompt a visit to a mechanic.
Question #3: Which of the following do you allow your pet to drink?
- Orange Juice
- Energy Drink
- Sugary Coffee
Are you getting the picture? You would never think of providing them anything but water. As a matter of fact, you could even be fined for animal abuse if giving them something harmful to drink that led them to becoming seriously ill. Animals always drink water, so why wouldn't you treat your own body the same way? Of course, while water may not be as enjoyable to drink, if you prioritize your health first, then it's a good place to start in making better decisions.
In this world of infinite product choices, it’s easy to become swayed into consuming liquids that are harmful to your body, but luckily, there is a way you can change that. But first, lets continue with the fundamental reasons of...
The Science of How Sugar Effects Your Body
Sugar in liquid form is a simple carbohydrate that quickly turns into glucose in your bloodstream. This spikes your blood sugar levels. Glucose is moved from your bloodstream and into your cells to create energy for your body. It performs this function through your pancreas, which makes insulin, a hormone.
Through that process, your blood sugar level can suddenly drop, making your feel tired after the sugar high, which results in you craving for more sugar to regain your previous energy levels. Unfortunately, it's a false increase in energy that your body can become dependent on. This can lead to an addictive roller coster ride as your dependency on sugar is required on a daily basis to constantly raise your energy levels following each energy dip.
And while sugar is naturally found in fruits and veggies, it's absorbed differently when it's consumed whole, because whole fruits and veggies contain fiber and protein that slows down the process to balance out the negative effects. Sugar in liquids do not have that same balancing effect and as result, causes your blood sugar levels to immediately spike.
If you consumed copious amounts of sugar for 30 days straight, how much do you think you will be influence, addicted, and even controlled by that substance after the 30 days were up? And what happens to a child, who's recommended limit is 12 grams of sugar per day, but is given a bottle of soda (66 grams of sugar) a day that exceeds their daily limit by 5x? It's been reported by The Lancet Medical Journal that "Consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks is associated with obesity in children."
Here is a list of health issues that are increased by overconsumption of sugar:
- Premature aging skin due to reduced effectiveness in collagen & elastin
- Depression due to increased blood sugar level
- Cavities in your teeth from bacteria
- Joint pain from inflammation
- Rheumatoid arthritis from inflammation
- Liver damage from a build up of resistance to insulin, a hormone that helps turn sugar in your bloodstream into energy
- Kidney damage from excess sugar in urine, which prevents your kidneys from doing their job of filtering waste in your blood
- Type 2 diabetes from increased insulin in your bloodstream that can affect your arteries
- Male impotence from disruption of the body’s circulatory system
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Cardiovascular disease
Later in this article, you'll discover how to instantly stop yourself from drinking sugary drinks with a simple tool that will always be available to you. But first, it's important to understand how much sugar is in the most common beverages in the market.
How Much Sugar is Found in Beverages?
Before understanding the amount of sugar your body is consuming with each type of beverage, let's first take a look at the definition of what is considered food.
Food: any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth.
The two key phrases in that definition are; maintain life and growth. If you are not drinking water for a majority of the day, then your mind has been conditioned to think that other liquids like sugary drinks are better for your body, when in fact, it's the complete opposite and has been linked to the rise in diabetes, obesity, and heart disease in our society. There are enough studies to show how harmful soda, diet soda, energy drinks, juice, and other sugar loaded drinks can be when consumed and with the questions mentioned earlier, you already know what your body is meant to drink in order to function properly.
Below are the average amounts of sugar found in popular beverages that reach near or exceed the American Heart Association's daily recommended limit of sugar consumption:
15 oz Juice Bottle = 28-49 grams of sugar (Minute Maide, Sunny D)
16 oz Iced Coffee Latte = 30 grams of sugar (Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts)
16 oz Energy Drink = 54 grams of sugar (Red Bull, Monster)
23 oz Sweet Tea = 51 grams of sugar (Arizona)
32 oz Sports Drink = 56 grams of sugar (Powerade)
20 oz Soda Bottle = 66 grams of sugar (Coke, Pepsi)
Just consuming one of these drinks can lead to long-term dependency, which over time can lead you to developing a wide range of diseases such as diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, liver damage, and more. If you want to reduce your chances of receiving the above-mentioned diseases, then you need to reclassify in your mind the liquids that are labeled and sold as drinks.
Reclassifying Sugary Drinks as Toxic or Undrinkable
If drinking these liquids were to create a more immediate effect on your body that caused rapid deterioration where you lost your teeth, suffered a heart attack, and suddenly gained weight, you would probably think twice about drinking them and you might even label them as a toxic substance in the same category as lava, acid, and poison. However, drinking these sweetened beverages causes a slow deterioration of your body over time that is hardly noticeable with its detrimental effects that accumulate and show up many years later.
One way to make healthier drink decisions is to use the power of your mind and classify them as "Toxic" or "Undrinkable". If you change the classification of them to substances that are toxic or harmful to your body, then it will help guid you away from considering them as a consumable item. Your mind is a powerful tool and you can use it to your advantage.
For example, would you drink a bottle of hot lava? No, of course not, because it would melt your mouth, teeth, throat, etc. What about acid? Or poison? No, you would never drink any of these liquids as it would immediately kill you and as a result, you have labeled them "Toxic". But what if you used this same approach to re-classify sugary beverages as "Toxic"? Because if your mind says it's toxic, then you won't drink it. So the more you view sugary drinks in this way, the easier it will be to disqualify them as a choice when you find yourself in a store and are about to make a selection.
How to Regain Control of What You Drink
Here is a simple tool you can use that will lead you towards making better decisions every time you are about to purchase or consume a drink. This tool will instantly disrupt your past habitual behavior so that when you walk into a coffee shop, grocery store, or restaurant, you will be able to create a filter that gives you a momentary pause so you can remove your mind from autopilot and make a conscious decision that will enable you to move forward in making a better decision. Here is the tool...
Any time you purchase or drink something, ask yourself this question:
"Will this enhance or deteriorate my body?"
When you ask yourself this question, your mind will turn off from a state of autopilot and it will enter into a state of self awareness of what you are about to do. It's important to ask yourself this question as often as you can before you purchase or pick up a drink. And as you make better choices that lead you towards drinking more water, your body will begin to adjust and re-calibrate as it weans off sugar and/or caffeine.
Your energy levels also will need time to readjust and your sleep may improve as well. Over time, your natural energy levels will return as your body will become less dependent on needing sugar for energy. And if you don't want to quit sugar entirely, here is a trick to meet you halfway...
Cut Down the Amount of Sugar You Drink by Half
It's preferable to drink water 100% of the time, but it can be unrealistic if you absolutely love or are addicted to sugar. If you do not want to cut out sugar entirely, then here is another solution. Simply cut down your daily consumption by half. If you drink 2 cans of soda per day, cut it down to 1 can. If you pour 4 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee, cut it down to 2 teaspoons. If you drink 1 energy drink a day, drink only half and place the other half back in the fridge for tomorrow. Wherever you're at with your sugar consumption level, cut it down by half and compensate it by drinking more water. By doing so, your body will begin to adjust and wean off to a lower dose of sugar. You'll still have enough to sugar to boost your energy, but again, you'll at least become less dependent on it over time.
Sugar is a hard habit to break, but if you use the above mentioned tools, you can begin to interrupt or adjust your daily habits to change your behavior. If not, the effects of consuming sugar can catch up and harm you in the long run. Protecting your health is a lifelong endeavor so keep it up and comment below if you have a success story in reducing your consumption of sugary drinks.
Related Article: Why You Should Only Drink Water