Articles on drinking

Drinking – What’s the Cost?

Ms. Raisa Luther, Psychotherapist
Counting the cost of alcohol addiction can be a real an eye-opener!It is very important for persons who are drinking too much, or for his or her loved ones to fully understand the damages their addiction is causing.If you check out the costs of alcoholism, it may help get the alcoholic into treatment or urge his or her family members to seek professional intervention.Some persons balk at the cost of treatment. However, once you look at the cost of continued addiction, treatment looks like the most valuable option.So let’s look at the real cost of alcoholism:Health problemsAlcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream and subsequently affects all parts of your body. Beginning with the brain – when it hits the brain, that’s what it means getting ‘high’ or getting the ‘buzz’. Every small peg of alcohol kills thousands of brain cells – irreversibly. Long term alcohol abusers have difficulty in remembering due to memory loss, have lack of concentration and impaired judgement.The drinker’s liver is one of the first victims. Excessive intake of alcohol makes the liver unable to break down the harmful substances. Continued alcohol abuse can lead to serious liver diseases including sclerosis.Alcohol commonly causes stomach problems such as ulcers, bloating and excess gas. Your heart too gets under strain – it has to work that much harder to keep the body functioning. Though the cardiovascular system is extremely powerful and resilient, but like everything it has limits. That’s why alcoholics are prone to irregular heartbeats, strokes and heart attacks.Alcoholism also damages the nervous system. It can cause sexual dysfunction. For men it can lead to impotence, women infertility issues.Other serious problems associated with excessive alchol intake are: problems with teeth and gums, bowel issues and ulcers.There are over 46 diseases directly related to alcoholism. Alcoholics need to spend more time in hospitals, experience loss of pay when they are absent from work. Some, of course, land at the graveyard early.Impact on personal relationshipsWhile the loud and dysfunctional behaviour of the alcoholic may make friends avoid him or her in social settings, it’s the personal relationships that take a huge beating.The alcoholic destroys his or her family unity, causes extreme stress, grief, anguish and hearbreak to those who love him or her dearly. Family members live in constant fear and suffer from long-term emotional and psychological damage.Even love has its limits. The near and dear ones will ultimately give up or harbour deep resentments.As often happens, the partner abandons the alcoholic. This causes the alcoholic to hit the bottle with more vigour and vengeance, leading to further loneliness and devastation.Financial lossYou don’t need rocket science to get this. Boozing is expensive. Not just the cost of the booze, but the things that along with it. Going out with drinking buddies, grandiose spending, medical costs, and absenteeism at work – all these add up to a huge cost. The same amount could have been spent on family welfare, housing improvement, holidays, investments, and personal growth.For the alcoholic, drinking becomes the Number 1 priority. It not only ruins the bank balance, but adversely affects all areas of the alcoholic’s life. Alcohol becomes all-consuming and whatever it costs to fund your drinking will be spent over and above other financial responsibilities.Stop counting the cost of alcohol addiction – start seeking helpThose who cross the line from social drinking to alcohol abuse need help. Alcohol rehabs are effective in rebuilding the lives of alcoholics and their families. The cost involved is nothing compared to what the alcoholic is bound to lose if he doesn’t stop.If you wish to save someone from further deterioration, get in touch with a rehab. Most of the rehabs have outpatient, residential and online therapy options for addiction recovery.

Think Before You Drink!

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
You stay away from the most obvious signs of sugar in your food.  Avoid desserts, don't take sugar in your tea/coffee. But sometimes you ignore the not so obvious forms of sugar that might be harming you. To start the damage control right away here are a few ways how sugar is finding way to your system.Cola drinks (Regular and diet): The cola drinks are soda and added sweeteners and artificial colors present in it. The soda present in it increases the level of co2 in the body which results in the reduction of anti-oxidants in the body. It contains a high amount of sugar in it which is not good for the health.Energy Drinks: It makes up for the energy lost especially for athletes who burn calories at a faster rate and want  to recover for lost energy. But if you read the nutrition label it contain nearly 7 teaspoon of sugar present in it which it more than double the daily requirement, adding health problems as overtime. It also contains a high amount of sodium which is not healthy at all. Have fresh fruit juice for energy and nutrition too.Iced tea: You probably know different flavors of iced tea but do can you tell how many tea spoons are you consuming in a cup. About 5 teaspoon of sugar you consume in a single serving of iced tea. All this extra sugar will keep getting stored and will eventually show on your body as fat or health problems. The lemon drinks for keeping health stroke away can't keep the extra sugar in it. Most of the packaged juices contain high amount of sweeteners not advisable for our body. Instead have green tea in chilled water. Try it, its really refreshing.Fresh Lime Soda: Sweetened lemon drinks whether with soda or without soda contains high amount of sugar which doesn't remain as a healthy option. The fruit squashes and syrups contain concentrated form with sugar and other preservatives. Sweetened drink syrups are equally unhealthy when we compare the sugar present in it to the required amount. Avoid  the sugar in your lime water and double up your health benefits.The above options might give you a reason to think again and put the stop on sugar consumption to a infinite level which is happening everyday. It is alright to consume these drinks in moderation but regular consumption of drinks with high amount of sugar will have repercussions on your health in long term like weight gain, anxiety and depression.

Exercise to Drink More Water

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Inspite of knowing that water is good for your body, many of us find it difficult to drink water. We have something that can help. Did you know exercising makes you thirsty? So if you are unable to kick out this bad habit of drinking less then maybe adding an exercise routine can help you get more water in the system.But why does exercise make you thirsty? First, during workouts we sweat, losing water and salt which causes the imbalance of fluids and electrolytes in the body. Our body naturally counters this internal reaction by triggering thirst. If you are feeling thirsty post workouts, its because you have worked hard and have lost water and salt through sweat.As 70% of the body composition is water, after workouts and wear and tear the body goes into repair mode and requires water for speedy recovery. Water helps carry nutrients and helps remove toxins and wastes from your body.Sometimes we don't pay enough attention to the body signals and drink enough water resulting in dehydration.Here are a few tips to maintain water levels and avoid dehydration: - Drink enough water pre workouts to keep the water levels maintained. - Consume less of diuretics which flush out extra fluid from the body leaving no reserves in the body. - Have salt and sugar in water. - If water is not available then eat a candy or a sweet. - Make a habit of drinking enough water everyday. Start your day with a glass of water and then drink a glass every hour. It will rev   up your metabolism too if you have adequate water and can help weight loss. - Eat foods which contain water naturally. Fruits and vegetables are a rich source and nutritious.

Drink Water to Control Appetite

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The code has finally been cracked. A natural appetite depressant has been found that can be included in daily diet without any prescription, has no side effects and does not shake your daily budget.Scientists confirm that drinking 500 ml of this magic potion before meals can help you achieve your weight loss goals much faster. The common name of this revolutionary liquid is “water”.According to the study, dieters who drank 2 cups of water before meals three times per day, lost about 2.5 kgs more than the dieters who did not increase their water intake.So what’s the water effect? It is believed that drinking water before meals fills up the stomach with zero calories. As a result, one tends to consume less food in the following meal and the total calorie intake is reduced. It also helps in portion control and hence is helpful in weight management. Replacing aerated and added sugar beverages with plain, fresh water also is an effective strategy to reduce calorie intake. All carbonated drinks and beverages with artificial sweeteners are harmful to health and are loaded with sugar which adds on to the waistline increasing risk of several lifestyle diseases. A single serving of these drinks can have as high as 10 teaspoons of sugar.According to experts, the human brain sometimes misinterprets signals of thirst as a sign of hunger, so one ends up eating extra calories instead of drinking zero calorie water.It is not exactly known as to how much water one should drink daily. Experts suggest that one should let the thirst signals of the body be the guiding factor. As per general recommendations, women should drink about 8-10 cups of fluids and men should drink about 12-14 cups.Drinking more water is simply harmless unless one has a medical disorder which leads to fluid retention. So the next time you feel like munching on a bag of chips or a packet of your favorite cookies, just grab a bottle of water and your cravings will vanish!

9 Reasons to Avoid Soft Drinks & Sodas

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
When taken at face value, diet soda seems like a health-conscious choice because it contains artificial sweeteners which satisfy your urge for sugar without adding any calories. But there’s more to these chemical cocktails than meets the eye.1) Devoid of nutritional valueSoft drinks and diet soda are devoid of any nutritional value, and don’t contain essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals.2) Enhances invisible fatArtificial sweeteners in diet soda and sugar in sugar sodas trigger insulin secretion which leads to increase in the level of triglyceride in blood. It also leads to deposition of fat in organs such as the liver. This further leads to insulin resistance and diabetes.3) Colouring chemicals-CancerColouring chemicals which are found in soda and soft drinks (2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole) are carcinogenic in nature and lead to cancer.4) Accelerate ageingStudies shows that phosphate and phosphoric acid found in colas and soft drinks acidify the blood and affect the action of glutathione, which is an antioxidant enzyme. In addition, these drinks lack any vitamins or minerals. By consuming these drinks, people cut their intake of water and milk and deprive themselves of essential nutrients which keep the skin healthy and glowing. Thus, the skin becomes dull and more prone to wrinkles and aging.5) Effects on kidneySoft drinks remove Calcium from the body, causing an excess amount of Calcium to be deposited in the kidney, resulting in nephrolithiasis (kidney stones).6) Effects bonePhosphoric acid present in all carbonated beverages causes removal of calcium from the body and leads to osteoporosis.7) Effects of CaffeineIn most carbonated beverages, caffeine is added to make it more addictive. Caffeine in carbonated drinks is more readily absorbed than in any other drink (like coffee, chocolate etc.). Caffeine disturbs sleep by stimulating the nervous system. It also makes premenstrual syndrome worse, causes dehydration and induces the stomach to produce acids, aggravating hyperacidity. Since caffeine disturbs sleep, the body is more likely to produce C - reactive protein, which plays an important role in heart disease.8) Messed up HormonesIt's not just the soda that's causing all the problems. Nearly all aluminum soda cans are lined with an epoxy resin called bisphenol A (BPA), used to keep the acids in soda from reacting with the metal. BPA is known to interfere with hormones, and has been linked to everything from infertility to obesity and diabetes and even some forms of reproductive cancers.9) Unknown Side Effects of GMOsTake a look at the ingredients list for any soda and chances are that most of those ingredients are derived from corn. Independent scientists have found that, in animals, genetically modified crops, or GMOs (Genetically modified organisms), are linked to digestive tract damage, accelerated aging, and even infertility.

5 Low Sugar Calorie Alcoholic Drinks

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
All kinds of alcoholic drinks contain some amount of sugar. An analysis of sugar levels in cider, sherry and spirits found that some drinks contained as many as five teaspoons of sugar in a single serving. Our body’s metabolism of sugar and carbohydrates when alcohol is present varies from the norm. Contrary to most food and beverages, alcohol has a lowering effect on blood sugars. Alcohol’s metabolism in the body blocks the liver’s release of blood sugar-regulating hormones. This can cause low blood sugars, or hypoglycemia, especially in individuals with diabetesA daily intake of 2-3 teaspoons of sugar is recommended for good health. Besides the alcohol the mixers added to the drinks further increase the sugar content of the drink. So to help you your sugar intake in check here are some drinks that have lower sugar content: 1. Gin: Distilled liquor has almost zero grams of sugar per serving. The sugar content of the fruit and grains used to make liquor is lost during the distillation process2. Vodka: Just like gin it contains zero grams of sugar. Biggest mistake people make while having it is by adding tonic to it. Tonic contains sugar and should be avoided if you are watching your sugar intake. Best way to consume vodka is as Russians do, sip it neat.3. Rum: Again Rum on its own contains no sugar but the mixers make up for it. A good rum can be sipped on the rocks.4. Red Wine: The wine-making process of fermentation turns the sugar in grapes into ethanol and carbon dioxide. Most of the grape sugar is used up during this process, leaving wine with very little sugar content. Red table wines have less than 1 gram of sugar per serving.5. Light Beer: Light beer has about half a gm of sugar per serving, lesser calories than regular beer and contains no fat. Lastly, the calories in alcohol are empty calories, which means that the drinks don’t also contain essential vitamins and minerals so the calories aren’t contributing anything to your health. Over time, too many of these empty calories can cause you to put on excess weight.

5 Benefits of Drinking Water on an Empty Stomach

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Water plays a vital role in keeping your body healthy and fit. A human body is made up of 50-60% water and water. For example, water protects vital organs and tissues, carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells, lubricates the joints, helps dissolve nutrients and minerals to make them accessible to the body, and regulates body temperature. But did you know that drinking water first thing in the morning has many health benefits.Read to know health benefits of drinking water. Your body is craving for water when you get up in the morning and drinking 2-3 glasses of water as soon as you get up can rejuvenate you and your health in more ways than you can imagine. Here are some benefits of drinking water on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.1. Cleanse your bodyHaving water on an empty stomach helps in cleansing of the colon, which in turn increases the efficiency of the intestine to absorb nutrients. It also helps in flushing out toxins from your body.2. Keeps your gut healthyDrinking water on an empty stomach helps in correcting bowel movement, which may prevent constipation, bad digestion and intestinal infections. This keeps your gut healthy.Get more information on easy ways to get rid off constipation.3. Keeps your internal organs healthyWater keeps your body hydrated which is really important for proper functioning of internal organs of your body. This keeps your lymph system healthy. The lymph system balances your body fluids.4. Fight infectionsThe body has its own immune system which helps in fighting against many infections and bad cells. Drinking water on an empty stomach increases the body’s efficiency to fight against infections. According to Japanese medical society, having water on an empty stomach can help you in curing different diseases like Headache, body ache, heart ailments, arthritis, fast heart beat, epilepsy, excess fat, bronchitis, asthma, TB, meningitis, kidney and urine diseases, vomiting, gastritis, diarrhea, piles, diabetes, constipation, all eye diseases, womb, cancer, menstrual disorders and ear, nose and throat diseases.Picture credit:giphy.com">Picture credit:giphy.com5. Keeps your skin healthyWater helps in eliminating toxins from the blood which keeps your skin glowing, healthy and clear.Drinking water on an empty stomach has many health benefits but keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day is equally important.Read to know 11 reasons to stay hydrated. So, besides drinking 2-3 glasses of water as soon as you get up from sleep in the morning, make it a routine to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day, at regular intervals.

Effects of Energy & Soft Drinks

Dr. Pawan Sharma, Dentist
Previous scientific research findings have helped to warn consumers that the pH (potential of hydrogen) levels in beverages such as soda could lead to tooth erosion, the breakdown of tooth structure caused by the effect of acid on the teeth that leads to decay. However, the pH level of soft drinks isn't the only factor that causes dental erosion. A beverage's "buffering capacity," or the ability to neutralize acid, plays a significant role in the cause of dental erosion. Popular energy drinks also cause tooth erosion.Clinical Featurefigure 1 Effects of soft drinks ....teethAcid Versus Enamel:-It is well known by the medical profession that disease loves acid,2 and this is particularly true of dental caries.Dental caries, by definition, is tooth demineralization caused by acidic-byproducts of the bacterial fermentation of dietary sugars. The resulting caries lesion involves gradual demineralization of subsurface enamel and dentin, leaving the outer 20- to 50-micrometer-thick surface preserved more or less intact.3 With the consumption of acidic, carbohydrate-rich soft drinks,teenagers are at high risk for caries development,which can be quite aggressive (Figure 1). Eight- to 17-year-old children are at greatest risk. Normally, as the young, immature enamel is bathed by salivary ions and the intercrystallinespaces fill, it becomes progressively harder and more mature. Mature enamel appears as a very dense, less penetrable, glassy hard structure that is fairly resistant to acid attack.However, enamel maturation takes time. The newly erupted enamel in teenagers is immature, and the crystalline structure is porous, chalky, and easily penetrated and dissolved by acids.4 Even in the absence of carbohydrates,soft drinks can be destructive to teeth. These acidic, or lowpH, beverages can contribute to the demineralization of dental hard tissues.Dental erosion is the loss of tooth structure by a chemical process not involving bacteria.5 Initially,enamel will demineralize and dissolve, with the surface appearing dull. Acids can also enter the pits  of enamel and cause subsurface structure loss.6 The solubility of hydroxyapatite increases logarithmic-ally with decreasing pH.Erosion may be caused by either intrinsic or extrinsic sources. The intrinsic causes have been documented to include cases of anorexia nervosa and bulimia, as well as any gastrointestinal disorder that involves increased outputs of gastric acids. Extrinsic sources include acidic medicines such as vitamin C and aspirin, aerosol acid chemicals in the work environment, or the frequent consumption of acid food stuffs or drinks.Simple pH monitors have shown that all types of soft drinks are very acidic,especially the colas, which can have a pH of 2.4 or less . In order to neutralize a glass of cola, it takes 32glasses of high pH alkaline water.2 Exposure of enamel to Coca-Cola® for one hour leads to significant reduction in  ,and scanning electron microscopic evaluation has revealed surface irregularities.ConclusionAs you may imagine, although the erosion and caries processes are as different as their histological appearance,the two conditions occurringcon currently could be deleterious to dental hard tissues. As dental professsionals,we need to educate our patients about the consequences of soft drink consumption and provide suggestions to minimize the risk.We also need to be active in educating school administrators on the negative impact soft drinks have on students’teeth.The place where children spend agre at portion of their day and where they are influenced greatly by their surroundingsis their school. Schools are therefore the most suitable environment to provide health information tochildren in order to achieve the goal ofhealth promotion programs. It isquite a contradiction to teach principlesof good nutrition in health education,then adjourn the class to thereality that the children have highaccessibility to soft drinks right outsidethe classrooms

Is Drinking Cold Water Bad for Health?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Come summers and our thirst for cold water begins. Cold water has helped many of us tackle the summer heat by instantly giving us a cooling sensation. It has not only quenched our thirst but also cooled our sweating hot bodies down. Those sigh of sheer happiness when you finish drinking cold water after fighting the insufferable heat of the peak summers. Bliss!I think it is safe to assume that most of us love drinking cold water in the summers and wouldn’t trade it with any other beverage of any other temperature. But when we come across the ‘internet facts (read fads) or popular myths’ like drinking cold water harms your body and affects your health adversely, we can’t guiltlessly enjoy our icy cold water. We are always shutting that voice of reason which reiterates the read fact and we end up feeling bad instead of blissful after our drink.We are going to explain how drinking water at any temperature does not have any sort of adverse or harmful impact on your health. So, we have come across many articles on the internet about when you have cold water after a meal, it solidifies the ingested fat which in turn does not get broken down and gets collected in the body as stored fat, thereby making you fat. Well I think it is safe to say that this line of research is based on nothing and has had no concrete results. It is an absolutely confirmed fact that drinking cold water does no such thing.Water has no fat or carbohydrate in it; hence it cannot possibly make you fat, though depending on its source, it might contain some minerals & vitamins. While consuming hot water on an empty stomach after waking up in the morning is believed to boost metabolism and we would suggest that you follow this rule in order to lose weight more efficiently, drinking cold water can also help you burn a few extra calories.When you drink cold water, your body has to work a little extra to bring the temperature of the water to normal and in this process it ends up burning calories to produce that energy. Although the number of calories burnt is not that much. E.g.: to warm 500ml of ice cold water your body burns only 17 Calories. But if you calculate the number of times you end up burning 17 calories into the number of days, we are sure you will reach a more appreciable number. Another fact is that drinking cold water after exercising can help you get rehydrated faster and helps bring the elevated body temperature to normal. Some studies even show that our stomach absorbs cold water faster than warm water, allowing us to indulge in our physical activity for a longer time without worrying about dehydration.While we suggest you drink 9-12 glasses of water every day to keep your body free of toxins and other harmful compounds which gets flushed out through water when you urinate, we would also encourage you to take more reasonable decisions when it comes to fads like ‘Does drinking cold water make you fat or unhealthy?A few different ways of including more water in your daily diet:         1. Green tea: This beverage not only ensures increased water intake but also an increased metabolism        2. Lemon water: This beverage along with rehydrating you boosts your immunity every time you take a sip.        3. Turmeric ginger-honey tea: This one is especially effective in cooling your body down for longer periods owing to the                   cooling properties of turmeric and ginger. They also try to minimize the adverse effects of scorching heat.        4. Buttermilk: It boosts your calcium levels and instantly cools your body down.        5. Coconut water: This beverage is loaded with a lot of minerals and vitamins and has ability to regulate your blood                             pressure.You can enjoy these drinks everyday either hot or cold to increase your daily water uptake and reap the benefits of a toxin free, well hydrated healthy body. Happy Drinking!

Water Water Everywhere but No Time to Drink

Dr. Amreen Sadiqa, Dentist
Our bodies are made of 60% water, and staying hydrated helps your system distribute healthy nutrients, gets rid of waste, gives your skin a healthy glow and keeps your muscles moving. Drinking enough water  maintains the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food, and more.Water is present abundantly, it's one of the most inexpensive beverages for oral and general health. Yet when we are thirsty we prefer a cold aerated drink or packaged drink over water. Sugary soda is a huge health hazard,  it increases the risk of obesity, stroke, and other heart problems. However, these dangers can be avoided if people choose to drink water, which doesn't have negative side effects. So help put the sugary stuff to the side and make water the number one drink of choice. The benefits really are endless.  Sipping water is also one of the best things you can do for your teeth – especially if it’s fluoridated.Read on to find out why water is best for your dental health. It Strengthens Your TeethDrinking water with fluoride is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to help prevent cavities.  It Keeps Your Mouth CleanDrinking juice, soda or sports drinks may help you wash down your dinner, but they can leave unwanted sugar behind on your teeth. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away enamel, which is the outer white shell of your teeth. Water,however, cleans your mouth with every sip. It washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. You’ll still need to brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth, but drinking water through the day will go a long way toward keeping your smile cavity-free. It Fights Dry MouthSaliva is your mouth’s first defence against tooth decay. It washes away leftover food, helps you swallow with ease and keeps your teeth strong by washing them with calcium, phosphate and fluoride.When your saliva supply runs low, dry mouth may put you at risk for tooth decay. Drinking water can help cut your risk  It’s Calorie-FreeSweetened drinks that are high in sugar and calories, create a perfect storm that puts you at risk for cavities and other unhealthy consequences like weight gain. In fact, drinking water can actually help you lose weight. So the next time you need a drink, go guilt-free with water to take care of your body and your smile.  Here’s a tip how to keep yourself hydrated: Begin by drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up, and 30 minutes before eating any big meal.Get in the habit of keeping a water bottle on hand at all times. And if the taste beings to bore, spice up the taste buds with a squeeze of citrus to the glass!