Is Soda Ruining the Nutrition of the Rest of Your Meal? Study Says Yes!

Few of us would consider soda a health drink, but how much damage are we really doing when we down a burger and Coke? A recent study examined the effects of sugary beverages on fat metabolism when consumed with food—and the findings might convince you to switch to water once and for all.

How problematic is sugar?

The peer-reviewed study, published in the journal BMC Nutrition, assessed the energy metabolism of 27 healthy participants by comparing two groups: those who were given sugar-sweetened drinks with protein-dense meals vs non-sugar sweetened drinks with the same meal.

Researchers found that combining a sugary drink with protein-dense meals weakens your body’s ability to burn fat. In fact, the fat metabolism of those who consumed sugar sweetened drinks decreased by an average of 8 percent compared to those who consumed drinks without sugar. Interestingly, increasing the ratio of protein in the meals did not dilute the effects of the sugar-sweetened beverage, suggesting that simply upping your protein intake as a way to reduce negative effects of sugar on your waistline may not be the best approach.

The take-away? If you’re looking to shed some pounds or maintain a healthy weight, you need to pay attention to what you’re drinking, not just what’s on your plate, and avoid sweet beverages with meals. You may even choose to altogether avoid consuming refined sugars with protein-rich meals—even if they are not in drink form.

To read the full study, click here. To read a brief explanation of the findings, click here.

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