The Real Reason Sugary Drinks Can Make You Gain Weight

If you like the taste of a sweet beverage, you're definitely not alone. We all have our favorite sugar-filled drink. It could be the nostalgia-inducing holiday latte, sweetened tea, or a fizzy, refreshing can of soda. Healthy Food America shares that the majority of Americans enjoy at least one sugary drink a day. They are a joy to enjoy but be aware, you might be shocked when you learn just how much they are affecting your waistline.

The term "sugary drinks" may sound self-explanatory as to why they aren't the healthiest choice. Because they're full of sugar! But there are some less obvious factors that make sugary drinks a leading cause of weight gain. And not just the type of weight gain that makes our clothes fit a little differently. U.S News has reported on new research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism that claims sugary drinks are a leading cause of obesity.

Sugary drinks have a negative impact on certain hormones

The research shared by U.S News claims that sugar-sweetened drinks are the largest source of calories of added sugar for adults in the US. The added calories are a definite threat to our diets, but it might not be as widely known that sugary drinks negatively affect the hormones that curb hunger and regulate our appetite. 

Dr. Kathleen Page, an associate professor of medicine specializing in diabetes and childhood obesity at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, shares with U.S. News, "Our study found that when young adults consumed drinks containing sucrose, they produced lower levels of appetite-regulating hormones than when they consumed drinks containing glucose — the main type of sugar that circulates in the bloodstream," she claims. So without your body being able to send you natural signals of when to eat and stop eating, it makes it even harder to know when to put down the fork and knife. The extra calories from the sweetened drink plus the extra calories from overeating on a daily basis make it almost impossible to not gain weight.

Clever advertising can mask the true amount of sugar in drinks

While Healthy Food America states that America's consumption of sugary drinks has lowered over the past decade, we should still be aware of our sugar intake. Especially when clever advertising can lead us to believe we are making a healthy choice, while we are in fact flooding our daily calorie consumption with sugar. Healthline shares drinks such as vitamin water, sports drinks, premade smoothies, and flavored coffee are all surprisingly high in sugar. It is also revealed that even products marketed as "light" or "low fat" are often filled with more sugar than their regular counterparts.

So go ahead and enjoy your favorite sweetened beverage. We're all allowed to indulge. Just be aware of how much sugar is in that drink. And remember that your hormones that curb hunger and regulate appetite may be hindered by your beverage choice.