At this time of year we are all looking to keep hydrated but there are some better options than others when it comes to quenching your thirst. Whether its soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports or energy drinks, flavoured milks or even flavoured waters, it could lead to you gulping the equivalent of 6 to 16 teaspoons of sugar in a few minutes without the body even registering the kilojoules and feeling full. For the weight loss surgery patient there is also the increased risk of suffering from dumping syndrome following the consumption of such products.
Threat to Health
- Consumption of sugary drinks is associated with increased sugar and energy intake and in turn, weight gain, obesity and chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes.
- Fluids may not provide the same feeling of fullness or satisfaction that solid foods do, which may then prompt you to keep eating.
- Some research suggests that sweet tasting soft drinks, regardless of whether they are sweetened with sugar or artificial sweetners, may stimulate the appetite for other sweet, high carbohydrate foods.
Soft drinks are very high in sugar and kilojoules, and provide no nutritional value other than fluid. A 600ml bottle of regular soft drink has around 15 teaspoons of sugar and contains over 1000kj, which is equivalent to:
- 2 slices of fruit toast with a thin spread of margarine
- 1 cup of ice cream
- 2 English muffins
- 2.5 Tim Tams
- 200g tub of reduced fat vanilla yoghurt
- 3 large peaches
Did You Know?
A glass of orange juice contains the juice from about 5 oranges so its better to eat a piece of fruit and get the benefits of fibre, and have a glass of water to quench your thirst.
Do You Know What You Are Drinking?
Soft Drink, 600ml bottle , 11% sugar =15 tsp sugar
Iced Coffee , 6ooml carton, 9% sugar = 13 tsp sugar
Sports Drink, 600ml bottle , 7% sugar = 9 tsp sugar
Fruit juice, 600ml bottle, 11% sugar = 15 tsp sugar
Energy drink, 250ml can , 11% sugar = 9 tsp sugar
Flavoured Water , 500ml bottle, 4% sugar = 5 tsp sugar
Making Healthier Choices
- Opt for plain tap water as your first choice – its cheap, high quality, quenches your thirst and has no sugar! Try keeping it cold in the fridge and always carry a bottle wherever you go.
- If you crave drinks with flavour, there are plenty of ways to spice up water without adding sugar or kilojoules : Make up a jug of iced green tea or other herbal infusions, try adding a dash of lemon or lime juice, create your own spa style water (infused with cucumber, mint and citrus) or add slices of strawberries, lemon, lime or apple.
- Plain, reduced fat or fat free milk in moderation (~1 glass per day) is also a healthy choice, along with green/herbal/black teas.Limit added sugar and use reduced fat or fat free milk.