Are you feeling down in the dumps all of a sudden? Well, it’s time to take a long, hard look at your dietary habits, especially if there’s a lot of sugary drinks in the mix.

We know, we know. Most days of the year, it’s hot outside. So, a refreshing, chilled sugary drink is perfect to boost energy. How could it be anything but? Before you reach for another sip – you should probably read this.

Sugar-loaded drinks can raise the risk of depression by 30%. A study presented at The American Academy of Neurology in San Diego also supports this claim and we’d like to share it with you – because we know first hand how tempting it is to ignore the warning signs and drink up.

The dope

According to this study, people who drank sugary drinks were actually at a higher risk of depression. Now, the studies are, as all studies through the years are and will be – a little debated. Some research says that people who are depressed crave sweet things and that sweet drinks can’t make you depressed. There’s also the fact that sugary drinks raise your insulin levels in the bloodstream and create a huge spike. This spike forces the insulin to throw the excess sugar into fat stores. Also sugar increases the release of the hormone dopamine, which makes one feel good instantly. Once the spike goes down, the urge for more sugar increases. Effectively, one ends up falling for more empty calories, thereby increasing his fat stores and round and round it goes.

All this talk about the ill effects of diet sodas, sugary sodas and so on, got us thinking – could we be better off drinking a deliciously sweet fruit juice? Nope. You’d rather eat a whole fruit, which gives you about 2.5-3 gms of dietary fiber and makes you feel fuller, also avoiding the quick release of sugar in the bloodstream. A fruit juice on the other hand, is not enough to make one feel full, and again creates a spike in insulin activity.

It’s a bit iffy

Sure, it’s fine to have a few drinks every once in a while, but try not to go overboard. Make sure you have it with a good source of protein and raw veggies. Protein ensures a steady release of digestive juices and is usually hard to digest, thereby helping in a slow absorption of the drink. Fibre creates a thermal effect by increasing the thermo-genic temperature inside the gut, somewhere helping in avoiding the quick storage of fats. That said, it doesn’t mean you’re away scot-free. If you follow a balanced diet for all the other times, you can reward yourself once in a while bearing in mind that they are, after all, empty calories. Researcher Honglei Chen does note that artificially sweetened beverages, whether they’re linked to depression or not - are definitely linked to poor health. So let’s just close by saying – you know what you’re getting into!

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