We are familiar with soft drinks which contain caffeine. But ever wondered what it actually is or why it’s added to the carbonated drinks such as Coca Cola or Pepsi. But sometimes we become concerned and worry about the negative effects of the ingredients of these drinks. Sprite is one such soft drink.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a chemical compound found in cocoa and tea plants. It also works as a moderate stimulant in the human body. It’s added to many carbonated soft drinks to give it a peculiar taste. Naturally, caffeine is bitter in taste, but other sweeteners mask it. Along with the sweeteners, caffeine produces a particular aftertaste.
But sometimes it’s used for its psychoactive properties. Energy drinks contain a high amount of caffeine, which is responsible for making the person feel energetic. Caffeine in tea and coffee, which we consume in breakfast, lessens the drowsiness and sluggishness from the long night’s sleep. This is the reason why students and office workers keep on sipping coffee while working overnight.
Caffeine cuts down the action of neurotransmitter adenosine on its receptors. Adenosine is responsible for causing drowsiness. Caffeine also activates some parts of the Autonomic nervous system (ANS).
Is Caffeine harmful?
Caffeine is not harmful when taken in a moderate amount. According to studies, the moderate safe intake for a healthy adult is 400mg/day. A medium size Coke can have on average 25 mg of caffeine.
Caffeine isn’t addictive. But some individuals may show withdrawal symptoms, which includes headaches, fatigue, and muscle pain. Also doctor advice to abstain from caffeine during pregnancy, as it’s harmful for the development of a fetus. It can worsen anxiety disorders. It’s better to consult your physician if you think you’re more susceptible to the effects of caffeine.
Sprite doesn’t contain caffeine.
It contains ingredients such as carbonated water, high-fructose corn syrup, natural lemon-lime flavours and sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame K)
Is it still safe to drink?
However, Sprite doesn’t contain caffeine, it contains a high sugar level, which is harmful to a human body. It increases the risks of diabetes, weight gain, and heart-related disease. Thus like a caffeinated drink, Sprite should be consumed in moderation too.
Normal uptake of added sugar daily for adult men is 36 grams, while 25 grams for adult women. A 375 ml can of Sprite contains 38 grams of added sugar, thus exceeding the value and proving it harmful for your body.
All the extra sugar in your body is deposited in your liver as fat. Sugar or sucrose is made up of two molecules: one of glucose and one of fructose. Glucose is utilised in energy formation. But fructose is transported into the liver. Here it is converted into fatty acids through a cascade of chemical reactions. It’s because fatty acids are easier to store than fructose itself. In the long run, these fatty acids get concentrated in your liver and give rise to several complications.
Studies have proved that excessive consumption of sugary soft drinks can lead to the development of pancreatic cancer. In women who have undergone menopause, excessive drinking of these soft drinks increases the risks of endometrial cancer (cancer in the inner lining of the uterus).
The positive side of Sprite?
Sprite unlike other carbonated soft drink doesn’t contain phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid is colourless and odourless liquid. It’s used to provide a sour taste to some soft drinks. It also curbs the growth of bacteria and fungi. As soft drinks contain sugar, it’s easy for microorganisms to proliferate in it.
Phosphoric acid causes osteoporosis and heart disease. Osteoporosis is gradual eating away of bones, making it vulnerable to breaking. It creates an acidic condition in your mouth, putting your teeth at risk of decay. Although phosphorus is essential for several metabolic reactions in our body, in excess it decreases the level of calcium in the body. Calcium is a main constituent of bones, and thus too much phosphorus leads to bone loss.
Dark coloured soft drinks have a higher amount of phosphoric acid. Thus, Sprite is a good alternative for those who suffer or are at risk of bone-related disease. But again moderation is essential in consumption.
Although classic Sprite contains a large amount of sugar. The Coca-Cola company tried replacing stevia with aspartame and acesulfame K with intention to lessen the sugar content of the soft drink. Sprite comes in many variants nowadays, such as Sprite Zero Sugar, Sprite Fibre, Sprite Lemonade. Some of the variants have low sugar.
Sprite can have a positive effect on some stomach pains. Like every other carbonated beverage, Sprite too causes you to burp and expel excessive gas build up in your stomach.
Sprite is marketed as being a refreshing drink. The citrus taste of lemon-lime does freshen you up. Thus Sprite can sometimes become a good alternative of natural lemon juice in the fierce heat of summer.
Artificial sweeteners are used in almost every soft drink. Sprite uses sweeteners like Aspartame and Acesulfame K, which are 200 times sweeter than table sugar. On the contrary to natural sugar, artificial sweeteners don’t provide calories, as it can’t get metabolized in the body. Its effects on the body are debatable and have been a burning question in various fields. It’s believed that some of the artificial sweeteners are linked with cancer, while others increase the risk of type II diabetes.
Sprite is a caffeine-free soft drink. We saw its positive side as well as the negative side. What we can conclude from it is that Sprite is the best alternative for someone looking for a drink that doesn’t contain caffeine. Sprite contains a high amount of added sugar which can cause harmful effects to your body. But when consumed in moderation, this doesn’t seem to be the problem. Sprite doesn’t contain phosphoric acid, which is bad for your bone and teeth, while other dark colored soft drinks does, so any day Sprite is better than Cola for someone who is very health conscious.