In this hot weather it's tempting to want fizzy drinks to quench your thirst but be warned. According to recent reports fizzy drinks can increase the risk of heart disease, liver failure and hypertension, in addition there's every chance of obesity and type 2 diabetes. That's before we even get onto the hot topic of tooth decay.
Bangor University research found that drinking these soft drinks regularly can alter our metabolism making it less efficient. Biological scientist Dr Hans-Peter Kubis, has found some shocking conclusions, In fact he says ' Having seen all the medical evidence, I don't touch soft drinks now' I'm determined to convince my kids!
Many of these drinks seem innocuous because they appear like 'healthy' fruit juices, but contain between seven and thirteen teaspoons of sugar ! Those that are labelled 'diet' or sugar free can be worse, containing artificial sweeteners that come with all kind of potential health risks.
So what's the alternative ? Well most of us know the importance of drinking water and for years we've been obsessed with mineral water. A huge industry has grown up to sell us this stuff and we've all fallen for it, lugging home heavy bottles of expensive water from the supermarket and then needing to recycle them to add to the plastic water bottle mountain.
Sometimes we just have to buy water if we are on the move, but to assuage your guilt investing in a recycled bag to carry your drinks in - there are some fantastic, stylish, strong and durable bags made completely from recycled plastic bottles.
My absolute favorite drink though, especially in summer (aside from the vino on a summers evening! ) is Coconut Water, its brilliant for replacing Electrolytes and tastes great. It's not to be confused with coconut milk, the water develops inside a young green coconut and its naturally very sweet . It's also fat free. Many of the brands available are from concentrate obtained from mature coconuts but it's better to look for one that is raw, 100 per cent natural and nothing added. Coconut water is a super fast hydrating juice that contains important minerals and vitamins, essential electrolytes, amino acids and enzymes. If it's taken directly from fresh young coconuts and canned within three hours of opening the coconut then remains fat free and has no cholesterol. Also its low acidity where most soft drinks are acidic and that can be potentially irritating to the stomach lining. Even for you fizzy drink addicts, remember my mantra... there's a natural alternative to everything!