Those who want to replace or even eliminate sugar from their diet are not limited to foods alone, but are also looking for ad hoc solutions for their drinks. And this is where the so-called zero sugar drinks, also called light or zero calories, come into daily use.
But do we really know what they are, what they contain and if they have contraindications?
Let's find out the differences with sugary drinks and get to know some good less sugary and healthier alternatives up close.
Sugary drinks and zero sugar drinks
Raise your hand if you have never tried, even just out of curiosity, a zero sugar drink! The vast assortment in supermarkets and the wide range of brands that now produce them in large quantities show that we are facing the new frontier of light drinks.
However, someone disputes the fact that they are considered really healthy. For this reason it is appropriate to investigate the question and above all to make a comparison with the drinks naturally rich in added sugars that we have always consumed.
Sugary drinks are not good for health for several reasons that we will try to list:
- They are harmful to teeth and gums. Continuously drinking this type of drink generates a sort of corrosion in the teeth caused by the sugar present and by the phosphoric acid.
- They make you fat because they contain many calories, therefore they can cause obesity and diseases related to being overweight.
- Added sugars are often artificial sweeteners and much more harmful to humans.
- The quantity of sugars is such that they are absolutely not recommended for diabetics, even if they consume very little.
- They cause colon and intestinal problems, especially after continuous consumption.
Also not recommended for children and young people, limited use should be made to avoid the risks they entail if you decide to bring them to the table every day together with water.
But are zero sugar drinks good for you?
What we commonly call zero sugar drinks actually contain sweeteners instead of sugar. These are mostly low-calorie sweeteners. A direct comparison between a sugary drink and a zero is clear the difference, and that's why they are classified as low-calorie and light.
After several scientific researches carried out on different samples of zero sugar drinks truths have also emerged that are worth knowing before choosing which drink to consume and in what quantity.
Let's start from the assumption that sweeteners are treated by our body almost like sugar and therefore can also affect insulin. Furthermore, if these drinks are not consumed in moderation but abused, precisely by virtue of their "beneficial and low-calorie" power, there is a risk of incurring various complications, including weight gain.
Yet to generalize is wrong! There are drinks that really have few calories, many properties and very few added sugars and which are therefore right for you if you want to hydrate without gaining weight, indulge in a whim without harming your health.
Low-calorie and healthy drinks
In addition to water, naturally consumed daily and perfect for quenching and hydrating the body, there are also healthy drinks that you can alternate during the day, to drink something different or simply because they meet your tastes.
Which ones are they? The first we want to tell you about is Kombucha, the glamorous drink that is good at any time of day. Then we will focus on energy drinks and ginseng.
There Kombucha (or Kombucha) is a particular fermented tea that has innumerable beneficial properties for the body. Among these, it seems to be very valid as a slimming solution for those who are on a diet. Despite the percentage of sugars present in it (just a small amount needed to start fermentation) it is a drink that does not make you fat.
Its qualities don't stop there: it has an innovative, almost sparkling taste, and there are also special variants on the market with ingredients that amplify its flavor, making it fruity or sweeter depending on the preparation. Among the drinks with zero sugar (or almost) it is certainly the first choice for those who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
More and more popular, not only by sportsmen, are energy drinks, with very few calories and many vitamins. They are ideal for energizing yourself after a workout in the gym, but they also give a strong energy jolt at the start of the day or at times when you feel most debilitated and tired, both physically and mentally.
Also in this case, different flavors can be found on the market, but all strictly without added sugar.
How about tasting Ginseng instead of coffee? The drink, natural 100%, comes from the processing of a root of the ginseng plant, typically oriental. Always used for its incredible properties, it is now available everywhere in the world and easily available in supermarkets or online stores.
In addition to not containing sugar, it is a healthy drink that is good for you: it reduces stress and strengthens the immune system and the body's defences.
Some advice to not get the wrong drink
The zero sugar drinks just mentioned certainly cannot harm your health if taken in moderation. But before buying it is always advisable to check the ingredients with which they are made to avoid that they are ideally sugar-free products but then in fact with small or medium quantities inside them.
This advice certainly applies to diabetics, but also to those on a diet or those who simply take care of their health and just want healthy drinks.
Finally, let's dispel two other myths, often associated with sugar-free drinks.
“They can be consumed without any restrictions or controls.” False! Even if it is sugar-free, overusing it is always a bad choice because it can cause side effects.
“It's about slimming drinks” This is also false! Some (such as Kombucha) can contribute to weight loss, but only if associated with a regular diet, sports activity and healthy eating. By themselves these drinks have no power on weight loss, even if they are free of calories, sugars or artificial sweeteners.
So pay attention to advertising slogans that often sell smoke and not reality: always trust your intuition and don't let yourself be deceived without investigating. By now it's easy to know how a product or drink is made, and the wording "sugar-free" doesn't always correspond to reality.