Can You Be Addicted to Fizzy Drinks?
Fizzy drinks are a staple in many diets. However beneath the refreshing bubbles and delicious taste, there is a dangerous potential of fizzy drinks. While many know that fizzy drinks aren’t the healthiest of drinks, the true impact on our health can often be underestimated.
What’s more, contrary to popular belief, fizzy drinks can even be the root cause of addiction in some people. Here, we delve deep into the more serious effects of fizzy drinks including diabetes and heart disease as well as fizzy drink addiction.
What Constitutes an Addiction?
Addiction refers to a compulsive need and use of a certain behaviour or substance despite the negative consequences that this is likely to cause. Addiction can extend to substances like drugs and alcohol as well as specific types of food and drink and even behaviours such as gambling and shopping. Whatever the addiction, it can be very difficult to come to terms with it and can be equally as challenging to try and stop the behaviour which is why awareness and education is key.
Can You Be Addicted to Fizzy Drinks?
Yes, in short, you can develop an addiction to fizzy drinks. The appeal of these drinks usually stems from the sweet taste, the fizzy sensation from the carbonation and a series of psychological factors. What’s more, for some, fizzy drinks can become an almost habit, a part of daily routines and even stress relief, which creates a psychological dependence.
Contrary to popular belief, addiction isn’t just limited to substances like alcohol and drugs. It can also extend to everyday items, with fizzy drinks being a prime example of this. Latest figures show that around 15 billion litres of fizzy drinks are consumed in the UK every year. What’s more, despite current financial challenges, the sale of fizzy drinks in the UK has increased year on year. This indicates that fizzy drinks are still a popular choice and could even be used as a mood-boosting treat. Many individuals may also be opting for fizzy drinks as a replacement for alcohol.
Ingredients in Fizzy Drinks That May Fuel Addiction
While fizzy drinks come in lots of different flavours, they typically contain caffeine and high sugar levels – two ingredients that are known for their addictive properties. This is because caffeine, which is a stimulant, affects the central nervous system and provides a temporary energy and mood boost. Sugar, when consumed, triggers the release of the brain’s feel good chemical, dopamine, which is associated with pleasure and reward.
Over time, and with prolonged use, the brain and body begin to associate these two ingredients with feelings of satisfaction and may even rely on them to feel good. This is what’s known as dependence and addiction. Without these, individuals can even suffer with withdrawal symptoms.
The Psychological and Physical Effects of Fizzy Drinks
Regular consumption of fizzy drinks can result in both physical and psychological dependency. This is because physically the body can adapt to regular sugar and caffeine intake, which can result in cravings. Psychological dependence occurs because the brain begins to associate these drinks with certain moods or times of the day, almost turning these into a habit.
It’s not always easy to identify an addiction to fizzy drinks as an unhealthy relationship with them can manifest in lots of different ways. This includes a persistent craving, struggling to cut back despite wanting to, and an increased consumption over time. Consuming lots of fizzy drinks when aware of their health effects or preferring them over healthier options can also be a sign of unhealthy behaviours.
Health Risks of Fizzy Drinks
When consumed in excess, there are several health effects associated with fizzy drinks. Many drinks are high in sugar, which can result in weight gain and obesity. This is because the body converts any excess sugar into fat. The high amounts of sugar in fizzy drinks can also play havoc with mouth health, causing tooth decay. Sugar is also known to feed bacteria in the mouth which can erode tooth enamel and make you more prone to cavities.
Studies also show that regular consumption of sugary and fizzy drinks can cause type 2 diabetes as the rapid spike in blood sugar levels can impact overall health. In addition, the high sugar intake which impacts body weight, blood pressure and cholesterol is also said to increase the risk of heart disease.
Fizzy drinks can also be used as a replacement for healthy drinks and foods, leading to poor nutrition. This can result in weaker bones and even an increase in gout, which is a type of inflammatory arthritis. It is important to note that not all fizzy drinks are the same, however. Diet fizzy drinks and carbonated water won’t have the same effects as sugary fizzy drinks. However, moderation is always key and health professionals do advise that you limit your consumption of fizzy drinks as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Tips For Managing and Overcoming Fizzy Drink Cravings
If you are concerned about your own fizzy drink consumption or perhaps want to support someone you know to reduce their fizzy drink consumption, follow these tips which will prevent any cravings too:
● Reduce your intake slowly to manage fizzy drink cravings and withdrawal symptoms
● Replace fizzy drinks with alternatives such as flavoured water or herbal teas
● Identify your triggers and consumption patterns
● Keep a diary to track your fizzy drink intake and help you to recognise any patterns
● Seek support from family and friends to help with encouragement and accountability
Seek Help Today For Addiction To Fizzy Drinks
Soda addiction is a real concern but there is help out there. If you’re struggling to manage your fizzy drink consumption or perhaps think someone you care about is addicted to fizzy drinks, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Nutritionists and health professionals can offer tailored guidance and support on the effects of fizzy drinks and reducing fizzy drink intake. If you notice that you struggle with behavioural or physical addictions to drugs or alcohol, this is something we can help with. Contact us today if you are suffering from substance abuse.