While caffeinated soft drinks are usually consumed for recreation in our home country, their reach and popularity is bigger worldwide. People often pop open a fizzy drink for any occasion, sometimes for lack of one. One of the more popular instances people do like to pop open a drink is right after a hot and heavy workout. While it does sound refreshing, expectedly, it is not the healthiest thing to do.
Caffeinated soft drinks are high in fructose and have been widely lambasted for their potential role in both the obesity and diabetes crises and a recent study may add a fresh health risk to the growing list.
Researchers from the University at Buffalo in New York recently assessed soft drinks' impact on kidney health when consumed during and after physical exertion. For the purpose of the study, the researchers recruited 12 healthy, physically fit adults with an average age of 24. Participants were asked to complete 30 minutes on the treadmill, followed by 15 minutes of doing three tasks that are designed to mimic physical work on an agricultural site. This was followed by a 15 minutes period of cooling down. Post this, the research team provided each participant with either 16 ounces of a popular citrus-flavoured, high-fructose, caffeinated soft drink or water. They repeated this 1-hour cycle a total of four times.
At least 1 week later, the participants returned and performed the exercise routine once again. This time, those that had the soft drink in the first trial received water and vice versa.
The scientists measured a range of parameters, including heart rate, core body temperature, body weight, and blood pressure at different times to conclude the study’s results. Participants in the soft drink trial were shown to be mildly dehydrated and had higher levels of vasopressin — an antidiuretic hormone that increases blood pressure. The consumption of soft drinks during and following exercise in the heat did not rehydrate. Thus, consuming soft drinks as a rehydration beverage during exercise in the heat may not be ideal.
However, this may not be the most reliable study, because of its small number of participants.
As of now, we’re staying away from soft drinks, because they only boast a ton of empty calories. Are you with us?