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Carbonated drinks have no nutritive value except sugar



Chimah Patience is a registered dietician nutritionist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). In this interview with GERALDINE AKUTU, she spoke on carbonated drinks and their effects.

What are carbonated drinks?
Soft drinks are carbonated drink/beverages with no nutritive value except sugar. They are made primarily from artificial ingredients. The ingredients vary with the type of drink.

How safe are they for human consumption?
Water contents: from a health point of view, the only positive aspect of soft drinks is their water content, by drinking soft drink, one is drinking water, which improves kidney function. The carbonation in soft drinks irritates the stomach mucous to some degree, resulting in increased gastric juice production, which speeds digestion. They do not contain alcohol.


Health implication when taken in excess
They are not thirst quenching because they contain sugar and other chemical substances. They majorly leave an after taste, which leads to even greater thirst. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks contain calories, which are empty and do not contain Vitamins B and minerals that help in converting sugar to energy, and where the individual is not involved in physical exercise, this sugar is turned to fat leading to obesity and upset metabolism.

As stated earlier, the digestion of carbonated beverages cause some degree of inflammation of the mucous lining of the stomach. Soft drinks should be avoided in cases of ulcer, gastritis and digestion disorders. Cola beverages contain some acids such as phosphoric acid, which acidifies the blood. The body attempts to neutralise the acid by releasing calcium and other minerals from the bone. Cola beverages should be avoided in cases of osteoporosis, rickets etc.

Additionally, additives in soft drinks can cause allergies and can manifest in skin eruptions, stomach pain and digestion disorders, nervous irritability and hyperactivity and so on.

What kind of drink would you recommend in place of carbonated ones?
As an expert, I recommend drinking of water, which aids in proper hydration, reduces the risk of kidney stones, reduces concentration of blood, also the risk of thrombosis (clothing of blood vessels), reduces fatigue and physical output. Soft drinks should be taken occasionally as they do not contain any nutritive value except for sugar, caffeine.

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