The truth about sodas and sports drinks
On Monday the New York state proposed “soda ban,” was denied by the state Supreme Court, leaving many of us wondering whether soda and sugary drinks are really that bad for us?
In 2012 there was significant research showing sugary beverages are not only loaded with calories but they may also trigger genes that predispose some of us to weight gain, yet lingering questions still remain about soda and its effect on our overall health.
Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling explained in his decision that the city’s Board of Health was only meant to intervene "when the City is facing eminent danger due to disease; that has not been demonstrated herein."
With all the recent soda talk going on, the Huffington Post examined some of the 10 most popular questions and myths about the family of sugary drinks:
Diet Soda is better for you than regular soda: The reality is "diet soda is no panacea," says Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D., C.D.N., adjunct professor of nutrition at NYU and author of The Portion Teller Plan. The theory is that the brain thinks that sweetness signals calories on their way and triggers certain metabolic processes that could lead to weight gain. “Sugar-free doesn't mean healthy. In fact, the "false sweetness" of diet soda can be quite problematic,” says Young.
A trip to the gym warrants a sports drink: Thanks to Gatorade commercials, we think a sports drink is necessary every time we break a sweat. However, according to the Huffington Post, the truth is that our electrolyte and glycogen reserves (which sports drinks are used to replenish) aren’t depleted until more than an hour of intensive training. So after 45 minutes on the treadmill, water will rehydrate you just fine.
Soda made with corn syrup is worse for you than soda made with cane sugar: Turns out the problem isn’t the corn-derived sweetener but rather the fact that soda is sugar in liquid form. Both full-calorie sweeteners break down into approximately half glucose and half fructose (corn syrup is about 45 to 55 percent fructose, compared to sugar's 50 percent). As such, they behave very similarly in the body, which is to say dangerously: "They are compositionally all but identical. Sugar is sugar, and the dose makes the poison in either case," says David Katz, M.D. and director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. So the only way to really cut down that sugar intake is to limit how much soda you drink.
Clear soda is healthier than dark soda: “While the caramel coloring responsible for that brown hue can discolor your teeth,” says Young, “the big difference between clear or light-colored sodas versus darker sugary drinks is typically caffeine.” However the average can of soda has less caffeine than a cup of coffee.
For the full list of questions and myths about sugary drinks, visit HuffingtonPost.com.