For some of our members it would take an entire HITZone session to burn off the calories consumed in a single soft drink!
Fizzy, sugary soft drinks are popular across the world. From traditional colas and lemonades to the more modern sports and energy drinks.
Soft drinks are consumed on a daily basis by many people, while others may keep it for a treat at the weekend or when they are out. Even those people who do not drink fizzy drinks as a general rule, may find a cola or lemonade has found its way into their cocktail on Saturday night!
Sugar found naturally in fruit and vegetables does not count as free sugars and we don’t need to cut down on these, but we should remember that these sugars are included in the ‘total sugar’ figure found on food labels. It is the free or added sugars in sweets, cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks that we need to cut back on.
NHS UK states that ‘free’ or ‘added’ sugars shouldn’t make up more than 5% of our daily calorie intake. That works out at around 30g of sugar a day for a person. The problem is that a standard 330ml can of cola can contain 35g of sugar (more than your entire daily allowance), and can be consumed in the space of a few minutes!
The modern wave of energy drinks are designed to be full of carbohydrates, sugar and electrolytes for athletes exercising at very high intensity for durations over 1 hour. For non-athletes (which is most of us!) these drinks are just calories, sugar and caffeine all contributing to a raise in blood pressure. In fact, diabetes.co.uk published an article in 2017 stating that excess sugar may be more harmful than salt when it comes to high blood pressure
Sugary drinks can be hard to avoid, and it’s not just fizzy drinks!
There has been a seemingly never-ending explosion of the coffee industry for as long as anyone can remember. Most of us enjoy our favourite cup of coffee, however the trend for seasonal themed drinks such as a spiced gingerbread latte with whipped cream is taking things to a whole new level. Your favourite coffee drink could have as much if not more sugar than the equivalent amount of fizzy soda. Something like a caramel Frappuccino can have up to 84g of sugar be coming in at over 400 calories.
And it’s not just the coffee in the coffee shops!
UK campaign group Action on Sugar carried out research which showed that a popular high-street coffee shop was selling ‘Hot Mulled Fruit’ drinks with 99 grams of sugar per serving – that’s 3 times the maximum intake of 7 teaspoons per day.
The same study also showed that a large fast food chain was serving hot chocolate with equivalent of 14 teaspoons of sugar.
Cut back and check
The best solution is to cut back on the amount of sugar you are consuming. Reducing your sugary drink intake could make a big difference. However, it is not always easy to know how much sugar is in a drink based on what it looks like or from its brand name. It is advisable therefore to always check the label or ask your server for information on how much sugar there is before purchasing.
Other options are simply choosing to drink water or a sugar free or no-added sugar drink. If you do want something fizzy you can try a no-added sugar squash mixed with sparkling water.