What Happens When You Drink a Soft Drink (Soda)?

I came across a news article that detailed a study that investigated what happens in our body when we consume soft drinks. I thought wow, people generally don’t know this stuff, yet it is having a very real impact on our health and wellbeing.

Knowledge is power, and I love sharing this knowledge with you to have all the power possible to make good decisions for you and your family’s health. I obviously talk a lot about essential oils as I’m super passionate about them, but they aren’t magic potions! Eating a diet loaded with sugar, take-away and fast food cannot be reversed by a few drops of essential oils (no matter how good they are)!

Many people’s day might go something like this: wake-up, get ready for work and maybe eat a quick breakfast on the way out the door (maybe some toast or a muffin). Still feeling tired, you may scramble to get your morning coffee (can you wait until you get to work or maybe you MUST have it before/during your commute?). Often having had no time for breakfast in the morning, when you get to the office you might have a small tub of low-fat fruit flavoured yoghurt or one of those quick oat sachets you can make in the microwave. Come 10-11am and you’re hungry and low on energy – a quick soft drink can sort that out and tie me over to lunch. After lunch you’re good until about mid-afternoon when all your energy reserves come crashing down! Another coffee, muffin, muesli bar or soft drink are in order to keep me going until I get home from work.

The point is this; many people fight these ever rising and crashing energy cycles and fuel them with more caffeine and/or soft drinks. So to the point of this post, what happens in our body when we drink a soft drink?

A study was conducted involving 28 young adults who were overweight or obese. They sat in a lab all day and were fed a ‘normal’ breakfast, lunch and dinner. At morning-tea and afternoon-tea they were given a can of soft-drink. All day their blood was continuously sampled and analysed. This is what they found:

  • Within 30 minutes of consuming the soft-drink blood sugar spiked.
  • Your body then responds by producing the hormone insulin.
  • Insulin signals your cells to absorb the sugar and burn it – this gives you an energy rush.
  • However, the sugar keeps on coming into the system and the cells cannot handle it all. High blood sugar is damaging to blood vessels so the pancreas keeps producing more insulin.
  • Study participants showed that insulin stayed elevated all day as a result of just the two cans of soft drink.

Imagine then doing this daily, your pancreas would be under continual stress always having to produce insulin. Guess what else happens when insulin is being produced in the body? Body fat cannot be burned as your cells are busy handling the sugar in the blood stream. So all your efforts trying to diet can be undone by a beverage filled with sugar.

But that’s ok you might say, because you drink “DIET” or “ZERO” sugar soft drinks. Well you might need to reconsider. A new study in the journal ‘Molecules’ revealed that artificial sweeteners, like aspartame found in Coke, can be toxic to the gut bacteria!!! In case you’re not aware, healthy gut bacteria is absolutely critical to our overall health. It impacts on our immune system and digestive system, both of which are critical to healthy body function.

We might sometimes worry whether we should eat fruit, is red meat bad, I can’t have too many whole eggs, organic vs non-organic vegetables etc.!

It is so a no brainer to focus first on the simple things:

  • Eliminate soft-drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices, they are loaded with sugar;
  • Eliminate the obvious junk – desserts, packaged foods, deep-fried foods, take-away, fast-food and snack foods;
  • Prepare as much food as you can at home and have a food prep routine (this is the key to stick to healthy eating);
  • Focus on REAL natural foods that your grandma would recognise.
  • DRINK LOTS OF WATER DAILY! Aim for 2-3L per day.

Do this regularly and you will notice a huge benefit to your health, energy levels and wellbeing.

Sometimes though you want a little zing in your drink. Here are some great ways I’ve found to make drinking water more interesting:

  • Infuse with some mint, lemon, strawberries or other fruit.
  • One to two drops of lemon, orange, peppermint or spearmint essential oils is amazing.
  • Using fizzy-water instead of still water.
  • Young Living’s NingXia Red is an amazing berry drink full of antioxidants that tastes fantastic!
  • Young Living’s NingXia Zyng is a soda water beverage infused with wolfberry and essential oils – this great for when you feel like a soft-drink but also want some health benefit. My husband really loved it.