By Dr. Mekola
Don’t Fall for the Latest 'Designer Water' Fad...
As a general rule, I advise using water as your primary form of beverage. Many simply do not drink enough water these days. But don’t be fooled by slick marketing.
There are a number of “designer water” products available, and none of them can really beat plain, pure water.
For example, on April 1, Coca-Cola released its latest enhanced water product called “Fruitwater,” described as “a great tasting, naturally flavored zero calorie sparking water beverage.”7 Despite its name, the product does NOT contain any juice.
Rather it’s sweetened with sucralose and “natural fruit flavors.” Sucralose (Splenda) is an artificial sweetener that, like aspartame, is associated with a host of side effects, including:
• Gastrointestinal problems
• Seizures, dizziness and migraines
• Blurred vision
• Allergic reactions
• Blood sugar increases and weight gain
Artificially Sweetened Water is a Recipe for Poor Health
Different artificial sweeteners have been found to wreak havoc in a number of different ways. Aspartame, for example, has a long list of studies indicating its harmful effects, ranging from brain damage to pre-term delivery.
Sucralose has been found to be particularly damaging to your intestines. A study8 published in 2008 found that sucralose:
• Reduces the amount of good bacteria in your intestines by 50 percent
• Increases the pH level in your intestines, and
• Affects a glycoprotein in your body that can have crucial health effects, particularly if you're on certain medications like chemotherapy, or treatments for AIDS and certain heart conditions
In response to this study, James Turner, chairman of the national consumer education group Citizens for Health issued the following statement:9
"The report makes it clear that the artificial sweetener Splenda and its key component sucralose pose a threat to the people who consume the product. Hundreds of consumers have complained to us about side effects from using Splenda and this study ... confirms that the chemicals in the little yellow package should carry a big red warning label."
That was nearly five years ago, yet many are still in the dark about these health risks.
Having healthy gut flora is absolutely vital for your optimal health, so clearly, any product that can destroy up to half of your healthy intestinal bacteria can pose a critical risk to your health!
Many are already deficient in healthy bacteria due to consuming too many highly processed foods.
This is why I recommend eating fermented vegetables every day, or at the very least taking a high quality probiotic.
Believe me, if you continuously destroy up to 50 percent of your gut flora by regularly consuming sucralose, then poor health is virtually guaranteed.
So please, do not make “Fruitwater” a staple drink thinking you’re doing something beneficial for your health...
Remember, pure water IS a zero calorie drink.
You cannot find a beverage that contains fewer calories.
If you think about it, why on earth would you choose artificially sweetened water over regular mineral water? If you want some flavor, just squeeze a little bit of fresh lemon or lime into mineral water as they have virtually no fructose in them.
Unfortunately, most public health agencies and nutritionists in the United States still recommend these toxic artificial sweeteners as acceptable and even preferred alternatives to sugar, which is at best confusing and at worst seriously damaging the health of those who listen to this well-intentioned but foolish advice.
Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that artificial sweeteners can stimulate your appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain.
In fact, diet sodas may actually double your risk of obesity. So much for being an ally in the battle against the bulge...
The Case Against ALL Bottled Waters...
While we’re on the subject of commercially available water products, let me remind you that bottled water in general is a bad idea.
Not only are you paying about 1,900 percent more for the same or similar water you get straight from your tap, water stored in plastic bottles have other health risks as well.
The plastic often used to make water bottles contains a variety of health-harming chemicals that can easily leach out and contaminate the water, such as:
• Cancer-causing PFOAs
• PBDEs (flame retardant chemicals), which have been linked to reproductive problems and altered thyroid levels
• The reproductive toxins, phthalates
• BPA, which disrupts the endocrine system by mimicking the female hormone estrogen
If you leave your water bottle in a hot car, or reuse it, your exposure is magnified because heat and stress increase the amount of chemicals that leach out of the plastic.
So the container your water comes in needs to receive just as much attention as the water itself, and plastic is simply not a wise choice from a health perspective … not to mention the extreme amounts of toxic waste produced!
What’s the Healthiest Beverage You Can Drink?
Sweetened beverages, whether it’s sweetened with sugar, HFCS, naturally-occurring fructose, or artificial sweeteners, are among the worst culprits in the fight against obesity and related health problems, including diabetes, heart- and liver disease, just to name a few.
Remember that sweetened beverages also include flavored milk products, bottled teas, and “enhanced” water products.
Ditching ALL of these types of beverages can go a long way toward reducing your risk for chronic health problems and weight gain. So what should you drink?
Your best most cost effective choice is to drink filtered tap water.
The caveat though is to make sure you filter your tap water.
I've written a large number of articles on the hazards of tap water, from fluoride to dangerous chemicals and drugs, to toxic disinfection byproducts and heavy metals, so having a good filtration system in place is more of a necessity than a luxury in most areas. Remember, nothing beats pure water when it comes to serving your body’s needs.
If you really feel the urge for a carbonated beverage, try sparkling mineral water with a squirt of lime or lemon juice.
Another option to consider is to bottle your own water from a gravity-fed spring.
There's a great website called FindaSpring.com where you can find natural springs in your area.
This is a great way to get back to nature and teach your children about health and the sources of clean water.
The best part is that most of these spring water sources are free!
Just remember to bring either clear polyethylene or glass containers to collect the water so no unsafe chemicals can contaminate your water on the way home. If you choose to use glass bottles, be sure to wrap them in towels to keep them from breaking in the car.
SOYAPLUS PROVIDES A CREDIBLE AND VERITABLE PROTEIN RICH SUBSTITUTE FOR ALL SUGARY AND ARTIFICIALLY SWEETENED DRINKS