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Sarthak

Nice article , I will not drink soft drinks from now onwards

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Alcohol Vs Soft Drinks – Which Is Really Worse?

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

You may have read or heard health advisories that caution you against chugging too much alcohol or downing a can of cola (or whichever soft drink your choice of poison is). But are they equally harmful to your health or is one more dangerous than the other? Read on to find out.


Did you know?

Let’s use 4 key parameters to compare the harmful effects of both drinks:

  1. Toxicity 

Drinking too much alcohol over a prolonged period of time can-

  • Slow down the activity of your nervous system.  
  • Lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Inhibit the function of the kidneys and the pancreas.
  • Cause ulcers of the stomach.
  • Cut off blood supply to the heart and gradually weaken it.
  • Increase the risk of contracting cancer.

What can soft drinks do to your body?

  • Drinking soft drinks in excess will lead to the deposit of fats in your liver and increase your risk of fatty liver disease.
  • It can cause weight gain, especially around the tummy.
  • It can adversely affect your heart health.

As far as toxicity is concerned, alcohol has more troubling implications on your health than soft drinks.

  1. Glycaemic Score

When you ingest a particular food or drink, it raises the level of sugar in your blood. This is the glycaemic index and a score between 0-100 is ascribed to all foods and drinks according to the sugar boost.

Distilled alcoholic drinks such as vodka, rum, brandy or whiskey have a negligible glycaemic index. In that sense, they’re not very harmful.

But cola and soft drinks of that ilk are packed with sugar. They can cause a dramatic surge of sugar levels in your body. This could eventually lead to insulin resistance – the culprit behind Type 2 Diabetes.

So, on that score, alcohol is less damaging than soft drinks. However, cocktails – which are sugary alcoholic drinks, have the same effect on your body as soft drinks. So, drink responsibly in more ways than one.

  1. Weight Gain

It’s well known that both alcohol and soft drinks can be fattening. Moreover, people tend to consume both with fried, unhealthy snacks that do your weight-loss goals no favours.

Alcohol is a hunger stimulant. However, drinking in moderation – one drink if you’re a woman and two if you’re a man, will not lead to substantial weight gain.

But, the added sugars in soft drinks directly lead to drastic weight gain and eventually, obesity. And obesity, in turn, can be a magnet to a host of lifestyle ailments such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

In fact, a standard can (330 ml) of cola contains as much as 7 teaspoons of sugar! So in weighty matters (both literally and metaphorically), alcohol emerges as a clear winner.

Also Read: Will Alcohol Kill Lice: Debunking Common Home Remedies

  1. Nutritional Value

There’s not much to choose between alcohol and soft drinks when it comes to nutritional benefits. Neither drink has any dietary value.

However, studies have shown that infinitesimal consumption of alcohol can boost heart health and mitigate the effects of Hypertension, Alzheimers or Diabetes. Red wine contains antioxidants that can fight infections, keep the dreaded free radical in check and even ward off cancer.

Soft drinks, on the other hand, do no favours to your body in terms of nutrition and can only have a ruinous effect on you.

Alcohol and soft drinks both have the potential to wreak havoc on your health. But, between the devil and the deep sea, alcohol is a little less dangerous than soft drinks simply because it has a handful of health benefits. But, only if it is consumed in moderation.

Though soft drinks can harm your body more, overconsumption of alcohol might lead to various health problems such as liver diseases, stroke, heart diseases, etc. It is always recommended to drink alcohol in moderation.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Healthy alternatives of alcohol and soft drinks

A healthier option for both soft drinks and alcohol would be sugar-free, antioxidant-rich drinks that are beneficial for your health. The uber-cool, young generation wants cleaner drinks and more provenance when it comes to knowing what is in their glass. Here are some of the healthy drinks you can try instead of sugar-laced soft drinks or alcoholic beverages:

  • Kombucha: Made with black or green tea with a sprinkling of bacteria, this fermented and naturally sparkling drink has become an epitome to represent a ‘cult status’ among those people who want to drink something that tastes adult and is yet a healthy option. Kombucha producers often boast about its probiotic and antioxidant properties. As it has no sugar content, its popularity among the young- healthy conscious drinkers has soared its sale high up in the clouds.
  • Coconut water: According to reports from USDA, unsweetened coconut water is full of vitamins and minerals, containing only 12 grams of sugar per cup. Coconut water also contains electrolytes like potassium and sodium that helps in regaining strength after a long, strenuous day. Coconut water is a refreshing and hydrating drink that you can add to your everyday healthy drink list.
  • Green juice: Whether homemade or pre-mixed green juices are available in the market, they are a great alternative if you wish to switch to healthy drinks as opposed to alcohol or soft drinks. Home-made green juices require vegetables to be chopped roughly and thrown in the blender and pre-mixed ones available in the market can either be in juice form or powdered form that needs to be liquefied. However, before buying these, it is recommended that you check the ingredient list as a lot of these green juices have added sugar content.

Soft drinks contain high amounts of sugar or other artificial sweeteners. It has enough caffeine to perhaps even elevate your blood pressure levels. It may promote obesity, digestive issues, bone issues, etc. For these reasons, it is always recommended to avoid drinking soft drinks.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Mocktails: A lot of alcohol cravings can be curbed by indulging in mocktails. Mocktails are made by fruit juices and sparkling waters, making them a healthier version of soft drinks or alcoholic beverages. Mocktails can be made refreshing by adding mint leaves, lemon slices and ice.

Also Read: Sober October: What It Is and Tips for Success

Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.

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