Sugared Soft Drinks Are Addictive

Soft drinks have many disadvantages. One is that they are almost addictive. Researchers observed that teens who drink sugar-sweetened soft drinks daily show withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches and cravings, after three days without the drinks.

Sugared soft drinks are addictive

Sugared lemonades make you fat and increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. They also reduce fertility – in both men and women.

Young people in particular consume sweet drinks regularly. Soft drink consumption among young people has now increased fivefold compared to the 1950s. At the same time, the number of overweight people in this age group has increased the most in recent decades.

In addition, soft drinks often contain two ingredients that are suspected of being addictive: caffeine and sugar. We’ve already reported here how sugar-sweetened sodas—much like some drugs—block areas in the brain that are responsible for healthy stress.

Even normal drinking amounts can lead to withdrawal symptoms

There are still only a few research results on this topic, especially when it comes to normal drinking quantities. After all, no one doubts that excess soft drinks are harmful. But what if someone has three soft drinks a day? And most importantly, what happens if that person is suddenly no longer allowed to drink soft drinks?

25 overweight teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 took part in a study at the University of California. They usually drank at least three sweetened soft drinks a day and were unaware that the study also looked at the possible addiction potential of these drinks. They thought it was just about the impact of sodas on the overall health of teenagers.

For three days, the young people were not supposed to have any more sweetened soft drinks and during this time they were to write down their condition in a diary. Instead of soft drinks, they should drink water or milk.

Sugar withdrawal leads to symptoms similar to drug withdrawal

The subjects reported strong cravings for soft drinks, headaches, little motivation, dissatisfaction, declining ability to concentrate, and overall lower well-being. These are symptoms that can be observed in this form when someone stops receiving their usual drugs, such as cigarettes or alcohol.

You may be familiar with headaches as a caffeine withdrawal symptom. The scientists also thought of this and therefore only selected those test subjects who rarely consumed caffeine. This ruled out the possibility that the symptoms were caused by caffeine withdrawal.

Soft drinks with addictive potential

“Numerous research shows that sugar-sweetened beverages can contribute to many chronic diseases. Our results also now confirm that these drinks also have an addictive potential, making their free availability even more of a concern, not to mention the ubiquitous advertising for these drinks,” said Jennifer Falbe, assistant professor in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of California Davis and study author.

In any case, one should reduce the widespread advertising for the drinks and ensure that there are no more sugary soft drinks in schools and other institutions – according to the scientist.

Healthy alternatives

If you would like to swap your soft drinks for healthy drinks, then try coconut water, vitamin water, or one of our numerous iced tea recipes! Here you will also find many suggestions for healthy drinks. This makes it easier for you to survive the withdrawal and you are also much less likely to relapse afterward. Bottom-up!

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Written by Micah Stanley

Hi, I'm Micah. I am a creative Expert Freelance Dietitian Nutritionist with years of experience in counseling, recipe creation, nutrition, and content writing, product development.

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