There is nothing more refreshing than having a cold drink on a very sunny day. The drink could be water, juice or soft drinks. Other drink types are usually taken hot or warm. Drinks like milk, coffee, tea, hot chocolate are enjoyed well when they are hot or warm. A drink is generally any liquid intended for human consumption and its basic function is to satisfy thirst.
Fruit drinks are nonalcoholic beverages that are obtained from processing different types of fruits. Fruit drinks are commonly made from citrus fruits such as orange, tangerine, grapefruit, lime and lemon. Fruit drinks from pineapple and apple are also common. Also, berries are used to make fruit drinks. These fruits are crushed and mixed with water to produce the fruit drinks. Often times, sweeteners are added to enhance the taste. Some fruits are highly acidic and it is necessary to mix them with water and sugar to make them palatable.
Soft drinks are also referred to as carbonated drinks. They are drinks which have carbon dioxide dissolved into them. Thus, addition of carbon dioxide can be done naturally through fermenting, or artificially by the dissolution of carbon dioxide under pressure. Nonalcoholic carbonated drinks can be produced using cola, orange, ginger, various roots, lemon and lime. Sugars and preservatives may be added later. The soft drinks which are mostly consumed are produced by coca-cola and pepsiCo global brands.
When it comes to choosing between fruit drinks and soft drinks, there are certain things you need to put into consideration. Such things include;
- Sugar Content
Fructose is the sugar present in fruit drinks, while soft drinks are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Both of them contain about 110 calories and 20-26 grams of sugar per cup. Due to their similar sugar content, few people have started to group fruit drinks and soft drinks together, suggesting that they both should be avoided. However, soft drinks and fruit drinks do not have the same effect on your health. For example, soft drinks tend to increase your risk of disease in a dose-dependent manner. This means that even if you only drink small amounts of soft drink, it will still increase your risk of diseases. Whereas, drinking small amounts of fruit drink, especially less than 150ml daily, may help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Only taking high quantity of fruit drinks appears to be detrimental to your health.
- Ability to Induce Weight Gain
Both fruit drinks and soft drinks have the ability to induce weight gain. This is because they are rich in calories and low in fiber. Fiber reduces hunger and keeps you feeling full. Hence, the calories consumed from either fruit drinks or soft drinks are unlikely to fill you up as much as consuming a fiber-rich food will, even if such food contains the same amount of sugar. Also note that drinking your calories rather than eating them may increase your risk of weight gain. Both fruit drinks and soft drinks confer the same amount of calories and this amount is high enough to induce weight gain. So, if you are going for a weight loss diet, it is advised to avoid both fruit drinks and soft drinks
- Nutrient Content
Fruit drinks contain minerals, vitamins and beneficial compounds that are lacking in soft drinks. Half cup of fruit drink is just as rich in most vitamins, minerals, iron, potassium, magnesium and B vitamins as the same quantity of fresh fruit. Fruit drinks also contain beneficial plant compounds like carotenoids, polyphenols ad flavonoids which can help neutralize free radicals and reduce the risk of diseases. Since soft drinks are gotten from artificial ingredients, they do not confer as much nutritional benefits as fruit drinks do. So, if you are going for a healthier drink, fruit drink is a much better option than soft drinks.
Although fruit drinks and soft drinks contain approximately the same amount of sugar, fruit drinks are a better option because of the vitamins, minerals and beneficial compounds they contain. Therefore, fruit drinks when consumed in small amounts will always remain a winner when faced against soft drinks.