Have you ever visited someone’s store and heard a buyer ask for soft drinks? More often than not, drinks categorized as soft drinks or minerals in Nigeria refer to the likes of Coke, Fanta, 7-up, malt, Pepsi, and others. Asides from their common names, they are also referred to as carbonated drinks.
Yes, they are called carbonated drinks for a reason.
First, there is a gas in all of them called carbon dioxide.
Second, this gas causes two major things: a fizzy sound [like ‘shhhh’ or as if someone is hissing] and bubbling at the upper part of the drink.
What happens when we open a carbonated drink like coke or Fanta?
This gas escapes. In a nutshell, this carbon dioxide gas is present in the drinks we refer to as minerals, hence the reason we call them carbonated drinks.
What Carbonated Drinks are Not
The question arises: Are fruit juices, smoothies, and yoghurts considered carbonated?
The answer: Since they do not contain carbon dioxide gas, they are not carbonated.
Why Talk About Carbonated Drinks?
Some time ago, I was a part of a “no carbonated drinks” challenge in Nigeria for a month.
Hundreds of people were to discipline themselves not to take these drinks for thirty days and give feedback to encourage others. At the end of the month, there was a reward for sticking to it all through. The result? Some people stayed through to the end. Others were not able to keep up till the end.
Other people could not live without taking drinks for more than four or five days, so they stopped. Still, others broke off a few times during the challenge.
I belonged to the last category. On the fourteenth and twenty-ninth of that month, I drank coke. I was able to stay off carbonated drinks on the other days. Here are some of the lessons from the challenge:
We love carbonated drinks.
It is not very easy to suddenly give up taking these carbonated drinks.
Reducing the quantity of our intake of carbonated drinks or giving it up completely is good for us. I saw people’s testimonies. I have learned the consequences of taking too many carbonated drinks, which has informed my frequency of intake of these drinks.
Why Should We Avoid Carbonated Drinks Or Reduce Our Intake?
Have you ever seen someone say, tweet, or post the following statement with a picture of them drinking water: “I am drinking water and minding my business”. Have you ever come across a statement on Twitter by the popular Aproko doctor along the lines of: “Drink water whenever you see this tweet” OR: “Drink water”.
Sometimes, we may refer to people that utter these statements as “oversabis”. Are they telling us to avoid any fluid that has color, odour, taste, and carbon dioxide gas?
Before deciding if it is right to judge the people that emphasize the importance of drinking water, note these looming dangers of taking carbonated drinks:
They have acid in them
Undoubtedly, our body needs a little amount of acid for digestion. While this is true, it is important to remember that what our body needs is an amount just enough to carry out important processes.
Therefore, when carbonated drinks become too much, the acid in our body becomes too much. Our stomach suffers from this excess acid, and discomfort results. All that discomfort for bottles of Pepsi? Nah.
Read also: 9 Nigerian Foods to Avoid Eating at Night
It can cause tooth decay
Tooth decay results from too many carbonated drinks. Without mincing words, “no be only smokers fit get bad teeth”.
It can cause diabetes
Diabetes can be a long-term consequence of uncontrolled intake of soft drinks
The calories in the drinks we consume expose us to a risk of being overweight. Overweight or obesity, in turn, are triggers for diabetes.
Carbonated drinks deprive us of nutritious food
Because it is slowly becoming a habit to eat a loaf of bread with a bottle of coke instead of milo and milk; because malt drinks are fastly replacing water and fruit juices, our bodies become deprived of the fuel it needs to function optimally: nutritious food.
The result? Dull skins and wrinkles.
Read also: The Relevance of Nutrition to Mental Health
Carbonated drinks increase the risk of cancer
Yes, cancer. It is important to run as far as possible from carbonated drinks or reduce the speed at which we run to it at every whim because the chemicals that make a carbonated drink in Nigeria different from the others and enhance flavor and color are risk factors for cancer.
Yes, carbonated drinks give us a full feeling. We enjoy their tastes, but our general well-being is not worth sacrificing a few bottles of carbonated drinks
Dos and Don’ts of Carbonated Drinks
What if you would like to enjoy a drink once in a while? What things should you keep in mind to do and not do?
- Never take a carbonated drink close to your time to go to sleep. This is because sleeping well and waking the following day afresh becomes affected when you take a drink close to your bedtime.
- Instead of abruptly quitting carbonated drinks, slowly reduce your intake. Instead of taking three bottles a day, take one. Instead of four per week, take one.
- Never take a carbonated drink on an empty stomach. It can lead to serious health consequences, including cancer of the oesophagus (where fluids and food substances pass through).
- Replace carbonated drinks with fruit juices and fruits. They are better for the body.
- As soon as you take a drink, brush your teeth immediately. It reduces the rate at which the teeth structure softens and decays.
- Never replace water with soft drinks when thirsty. Temporarily, soft drinks quench thirst but cause dehydration(loss of water) in the long run.
Reducing or avoiding carbonated drinks is not “beans”. After the “no carbonated drinks” challenge, I went back to regularly taking coke and the likes for some time. It was harder when I had to attend events and Owambes because: “What is an Owambe without food and drinks?”
The key to accomplishing this feat and reducing my intake of carbonated drinks was thinking of the consequences of being ‘addicted’ to them. Yes, you have seen them earlier.
You can drop your impressions in the comments section or chat with Insight.ng on WhatsApp as regards carbonated drinks. You can subscribe to our newsletter if you would love to see more engaging posts.
- Stella Agboola is a content creator who specializes in the field of health and disease. She also has a personal blog where she discusses social-related content. In addition, she is an avid reader of domestic thrillers and African novels. At her leisure, she reads books and listen to podcasts for information and entertainment.