At some point, you have probably wondered whether the saying “you are what you eat” is true.
The phrase is simple and refers to the concept that to be fit and healthy, you need to eat good food.
Over the years the notion has evolved from just good, healthy eating to a much more holistic approach, from what you feed your mind to taking care of your whole being.
The hustle culture has reached new heights, with work commitments, late nights and early mornings, and all in all, a perpetual overdrive that depletes our bodies from the inside out.
Although being busy is often seen as a badge of honour and a marker of self-worth, over-scheduling yourself can negatively affect your emotional and physical health. The hustle and bustle of keeping up with everyday life can make it difficult to consume foods that feed your body.
Nutrients from the foods we eat provide the foundation of the structure, function and wholeness of every little cell in our body, from the skin and hair to the muscles, bones, digestive and immune systems. We may not feel it, but we’re constantly repairing, healing and rebuilding our bodies through what we eat.
Sipping a beverage that provides instant energy may appeal to those who are tired or believe caffeine might give them an edge, but these lifestyle choices considerably contribute to the rising number of non-communicable diseases burdening the health system.
Beyond weight gain, routinely drinking sugar-loaded beverages and caffeine can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases. Furthermore, higher consumption of sugary beverages has been linked with an increased risk of premature death.
But not all drinks are guilty of messing with your digestion. Some beverages might be more culpable than others.
Drinks with ingredients that can dehydrate you, impair your stomach’s ability to produce acid, over time thin the lining of your intestines and stomach, or even in some cases interfere with your hormones can all cause indigestion.
Additionally, some medical disorders may make your digestive system more susceptible to plenty of unpleasant symptoms, such as nausea, heartburn and indigestion.
Energy drinks are beverages that are meant to boost alertness, concentration, attention and energy. Excessive or regular usage of energy drinks might result in heart arrhythmias, headaches, elevated blood pressure and anxiety. They also increase the risk of participating in other addictive behaviours, such as smoking and alcohol abuse.
While a moderate amount of caffeine is considered to be safe for most people, there has been evidence to show caffeine consumed in a greater quantity can lead to anxiety or insomnia. It has been found that coffee consumption can increase the release of stress chemicals like cortisol, adrenalin and norepinephrine, which in turn can raise your heart rate and increase your energy levels. According to a study on coffee and gastrointestinal function: facts and fiction, caffeine consumption can slow down your digestion at times.
A MedicalNewsToday article on whether alcohol causes you to poop, medically reviewed by Dr Debra Sullivan, states that alcohol can irritate the digestive tract and alter how the body absorbs fluids. It may alter a person’s bowel movement frequency and cause either diarrhoea or constipation. Drinking too much alcohol can damage the stomach and gut over time.
Despite the Food and Drug Administration’s stipulation that carbonated drinks are safe to consume, consuming them regularly may cause side effects. Drinking high-sugar soft drinks is most commonly associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes and weight gain.
Thanks to constantly advancing research into diet and its impact on our bodies and minds, eliminating processed foods and loaded sugary drinks that lack nutritional value is the ultimate goal of creating generations that are more health-conscious than ever.