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Friday, 27 February 2015

Gym Free Work Out

These exercises cost nothing and can improve your health and tone the body.

If you have any health problems, it is advisable to consult your Doctor before beginning any exercise routine

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Look Slimmer and Be Pain Free With Correct Posture

Want to look slimmer, taller and sexier in an instant? Simply improving your posture can make a huge difference.

The way you hold yourself can instantly shave up to two stone off your weight and make you an inch taller in seconds. And if like me you were last in the queue in the boob department, improving your posture can make your boobs look BIGGER! So if you pass this svelte 40something in the street, shoulders back, chest out, yep that’s me!

Good posture is part of the think-feel-behave cycle, once you change your behaviour to achieve better posture, you’ll begin to think and feel more confident and sexy.

Good posture can help prevent back and neck pain, headaches, your risk of developing arthritis and can also improve digestion.

sticking out bottom (left) and correct standing posture

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

How SLUMPING could be causing your headaches

Increased pressure on the neck not stress or dehydration is to blame, experts say

  • Majority of tension-type headaches are caused by pressure on the neck 
  • These are characterised by a tight pressing pain on both sides of the head
  • Bad posture and increased neck pressure causes knots to form in muscles
  • Knots release chemicals increasing sensitivity to pain in nerves in the head

Many people put their headaches down to too little water or too much alcohol.
But experts suggest most headaches are actually caused increased pressure on the neck, made worse by bad posture.
Slumping leads to knots forming in the neck muscles, which release chemicals that make nerves more sensitive to pain.
This causes pain to be felt in the head, known as a tension-type headache - that feels like a tight, pressing pain on both sides of the head.
Experts say 80 per cent of all tension-type headaches - the most common type of headache - are caused by muscles in the neck.

Most headaches are caused by increased pressure on the neck, made worse by bad posture, a survey found
Most headaches are caused by increased pressure on the neck, made worse by bad posture, a survey found

New research found 40 per cent of people suffer a headache at least once a week and 67 per cent get one once a month or more.
Half of people said headaches negatively impact their quality of life while nearly three quarters said they wish they could deal with the pain more effectively.
These types of headaches typically last from 30 minutes to two days.

Julie Sugrue, a physiotherapist specialising in the role muscles play in headaches said the head and neck have at least 36 muscle groups of which 20 have been shown to refer pain to the head.
She said: 'These muscles are used for many activities such as moving the head, maintaining posture, eating, talking and facial expressions.
'There are a variety of factors such as poor posture and increased neck tension which can result in "knots" developing in these muscles.
'Tenderness caused by these knots can cause pain in a distant area, which is likely due to the nerves being sensitive.

'This is called referred pain, and is the reason neck muscles can cause pain to be felt in the head.'
Currently, 70 per cent of people wait twenty minutes or more before treating their headache, the survey found.
When they do treat their pain, more than half report using paracetamol.
But Dr Andrew Dowson, founder of headache services at King's College Hospital, London, suggests using ibuprofen too.


Slumping to read a text or study a selfie can put undue pressure on the neck, leading to a sore back.
This is because bending the neck increases the pressure put on the spine.
Bending the head at a 60 degree angle to look at a phone screen puts 60 lbs – or 27kg – worth of pressure on the cervical spine, the part of the spine above the shoulders, the study found.
At more than four stone in weight, that is heavier than the average seven year old.
The extra pressure put on the neck leads to early wear and tear and the person may eventually need surgery, experts said. 
He said: 'Ibuprofen is recommended as one of the first lines of treatment for tension-type headaches in guidelines for healthcare professionals by the British Association for the Study of Headache, alongside paracetamol and aspirin.
'Consumer confusion around headache management and treatment is part of the problem.
'It's important that consumers understand that it's the tenderness in the head and neck muscles, commonly described as "knots", that trigger release of pain-causing chemicals.
'These chemicals make nerves more sensitive to pain and produce the symptoms of tension-type headaches.'
The research was carried out by Nurofen Express.
The news comes after MailOnline reported in November 2014 that slumping to read a text or study a selfie can put undue pressure on the neck, leading to a sore back.
This is because bending the neck increases the pressure put on the spine.
Bending the head at a 60 degree angle to look at a phone screen puts 60 lbs – or 27kg – worth of pressure on the cervical spine, the part of the spine above the shoulders, the study found.
At more than four stone in weight, that is heavier than the average seven year old.
The extra pressure put on the neck leads to early wear and tear and the person may eventually need surgery, experts said. 


Friday, 20 February 2015

5 Easy Ways to Start the Day Right

Not everyone is a morning person. Yet if you want to breeze through your (great) day, it helps to start off with a streamlined, successful morning. Get your mind and body in a good place, and the world is your oyster. It’s only going up from here. 
Plan the Night Before
If you want to greet the day feeling relaxed and in-control, do your homework. Create your to-do-list and breakfast menu before you hit the sheets. Taking 15 minutes to get organized in the evening can save you a 30 minute crisis in the morning (Where are my keys? That shirt is dirty—really?) ... plus grant you invaluable serenity, so you can focus on bigger things. 
Fuel Right
What you put into your body when it’s waking up sets the tone for the next 24 hours. Now is a great time to choose quality protein (whey protein powder, eggs, Greek yogurt), healthy fats (avocado, olive oil), and complex carbs (whole-grain waffles, oatmeal). Chow down. 
Drink Up 
While you get your zzz's, your body loses water. Wake up and replenish with fluids stat. Choose something natural like spring water or ZICO Premium Coconut Water, which will keep you hydrated with five electrolytes: magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, and as much potassium as a banana. ZICO’s natural flavor is never sweetened, but it tastes refreshing and is just sweet enough.. 
Get in the Habit 
Routines save time and energy—you won’t have to stress to figure out what to do next. If you know your morning goes something like: meditate/drink coffee/run/blend smoothie/shower/shave/brush/floss/iron ... you can free your mind to focus and plan for the day ahead.
Get Introspective 
Does morning meditation sound ... sleepy? Even a few minutes of meditation deeply stimulates the brain, allowing you to clear distractions from your mind and center your mental energy. Set the timer for three minutes, and start there. Focus on your breath, and when your attention wanders, as it will, gently bring it back. A three-minute respite from the onslaught of your busy mind is a glorious thing. 
Now go, tackle your day. Live it up.


Thursday, 19 February 2015

1 Daily Teaspoon Of This Spice Could Help You Lose 3 Times As Much Body Fat

Trying to kick a weight loss plateau? Unhand the celery and head for the spice cabinet: New research shows that cumin powder can help jumpstart weight loss, decrease body fat, and improve unhealthy cholesterol levels naturally. 
Researchers at Iran's Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences randomly split 88 overweight or obese women into 2 groups. For 3 months, both groups received nutrition counseling and decreased their daily intake of calories by 500. But one group was also eating 3 grams (a little less than 1 teaspoon) of cumin powder daily, swirled into 5 ounces of yogurt (the same amount of yogurt, minus the cumin, was also prescribed to the control group). 
At the end of the 3-month trial, members in the cumin group had lost 3 more pounds than those in the non-cumin group for a total of 13 pounds weight loss. More impressively, the cumin group members decreased body fat percentage by 14.64%—almost triple the 4.91% loss posted by the control group—apparently due to the addition of the fat-burning spice.
Cumin Boosts Weight Loss

There were internal benefits, too. The cumin group's levels of harmful blood fats, or triglycerides, dropped by 23 points, while the control group's decreased only by 5. Cumin eaters also knocked an average of nearly 10 points off their "bad" LDL cholesterol reading. The control group shed just half a point in that category.
How did the cumin group get such dramatic changes just from eating a little of the spice? First, cumin is rich in phytosterols, plant chemicals known to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the body. Since this is the first research to show the spice has weight-loss benefits, the study authors also speculate that cumin, like other hot spices, temporarily increases metabolic rate.
Want to try it yourself? Since cumin mixed into plain yogurt isn't the most enticing snack idea we've ever come across, here are some tastier applications:
  • Add a few teaspoons of ground cumin to your favorite roasted veggie recipe (it pairs especially well with sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, squash, and cauliflower, according to Ian Hemphill, author ofThe Spice & Herb Bible).
  • Blend ground cumin with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and ground red pepper for DIY taco seasoning.
  • Add a dash to mayo or hummus for sandwiches and dips.
  • Kick up mild guacamole with a dash or two of cumin powder to taste.
  • Sprinkle ground cumin into a batch of roasted chickpeas or nuts.


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

4 Exercises to Lift Your Boobs

Nothing short of surgery or gaining body fat can actually increase the size of your breasts. As for making them look bigger, well, that's why the chunk of change we spend on bras each year is larger than the GDP of Iceland.
Push-ups and padding aren't your only options, though. "Developing the muscles underneath your breasts will enhance the look of your breasts and make them appear larger," says Jen Comas Keck, a certified personal trainer and former figure competitor.

Let's be honest: This workout won't turn A cups into Bs or beyond. But if—like most women—you rarely train your chest, then you're missing out on a natural way to add a little extra oomph.
The following workout was created by Comas Keck specifically for women. "Working the chest from multiple angles with enough weight ensures plenty of stimulus to increase strength and develop the muscles," she says. "This can add beautiful shape to the chest."
The key to making this plan effective: Make sure to choose weights that are heavy enough. You should feel like you could do about two more reps at the end of each set, but no more. "It’s important to challenge yourself with heavier weights in order for muscle growth to take place," says Comas Keck. Perform the following routine twice a week.
MOVE 1Dumbbell Bench Press
Lie faceup on a bench with your arms straight, a dumbbell in each hand(A). Lower the dumbbells until they’re close to the sides of your chest (B), then press them back up to the starting position. That's one rep. Do 10 reps, then go to move 2 without rest.
MOVE 2Pushup
Start on all fours, your palms slightly wider than your shoulders, feet close together. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe (A). Lower down until your chest almost touches the floor. Keep your upper arms at a 45-degree angle to your torso (B). Pause, then push back to the starting position. Do 10 pushups and rest 90 seconds.
Repeat moves 1 and 2 one more time (so you'll do each exercise twice). Rest 90 seconds before move 3.
MOVE 3Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Sit on an adjustable bench set to a low incline (about 15 to 30 degrees) and place your feet flat on the floor. Grasp two dumbbells and hold them up above your shoulders, arms straight (A). Slowly lower the weights down to the sides of your chest (B). Pause, then press the dumbbells back up toward the ceiling. Do 10 reps, then go to move 4 without rest.
MOVE 4Dumbbell Fly
Lie faceup on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your shoulders with your elbows slightly bent (A). Keeping the slight bend in your elbows, lower the weights until your elbows are even with your chest (B). Keep the same bend in your elbows as you press the weights back up. Perform 10 reps. Rest 90 seconds.
Repeat moves 3 and 4 (you'll do each exercise twice).


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Lose Your Belly with Just Two Exercise Moves

A couple of month's ago, Men's Health asked Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S.—one of the world's top trainers—to create a cutting-edge fat loss program forMen's Health. And, of course, he obliged. But a curious thing: One of the workouts in the plan featured just two exercises.
That's right: When asked to create a super-effective, calorie-torching routine, Cosgrove gave us a workout that had readers do only a dumbbell swing and a squat thrust. This confused some folks, who wondered, "How can you lose fat with just two exercises?"
Cosgrove's response: "Running is just one exercise, but no one questions that when it comes to burning fat." (Another great way to lose fat: Avoid the 20 worst drinks in America.)
He makes a good point. And in fact, once you understand the philosophy behind Cosgrove's routine, you start to see why it works so well. But first, an explanation of the actual routine itself.
Here's how it works: You do 15 repetitions of the kettlebell swing (you can also use a dumbbell for this), followed immediately by 15 reps of the squat thrust. (See below for descriptions of both exercises.) Then, without resting, do another 14 reps of the swing and another 14 reps of the squat thrust. Continue this pattern until you complete only one rep of each exercise. This is called a countdown workout.

Sure, that's just two exercises, but do the math: If you complete the entire routine—from 15 down to one— you'll do 120 repetitions of each exercise. That's 240 repetitions. And these aren't just any exercises: They're movements that challenge your entire body.
They're also done at a fast pace. On average, it'll only take you about three seconds per rep. So you'll do those 240 reps in just 12 minutes or so. That'll light your muscles on fire and have you gasping for air (in a good way).

If you think that sounds too easy or too fast, I suggest you try it. You may find you can't even finish. But that's OK—you can just start with a lower number of reps, like eight, and work your way up as you improve your fitness. (In fact, I recommend this strategy.) If you want an even greater challenge, you can always take a breather and repeat the routine.
Remember: Whether you're running or lifting, your muscles require energy to help you move. And this workout forces more of your muscles into action than you'd ever use while jogging for the same duration. It'll also boost your metabolism for hours after your workout.

What's more, unlike jogging, these aren't joint-pounding exercises. So this is actually a "low-impact" workout that you can do at a high intensity, making it ideal for overweight folks. The best part: You can do the routine without even leaving your house since all you need is a single kettlebell or dumbbell. (And for another fast way to fight fat, check out this awesome 9-minute kettlebell workout.)
An important note: This isn't a complete workout program, but it is a great routine that you can do almost anywhere, anytime. And it's a fantastic substitute for 15 minutes on the treadmill.
Kettlebell (or Dumbbell) Swing
Bend at your hips, and hold a kettlebell (or dumbbbell) with both hands at arm’s length in front of you. Now, rock back slightly and “hike” the kettlebell between your legs. Then squeeze your glutes, thrust your hips forward forcefully, and swing the weight to shoulder height. Allow momentum to swing the weight—you're not trying to actively lift it with your arms. Reverse the movement, so that you swing the kettlebell between your legs again. Make sure you don't round your lower back at any time; it should stay naturally arched when you bend at your hips. Continue to swing back and forth. Watch the video below to see fitness expert David Jack show you how to do the kettlebell swing with perfect form:
Squat Thrust
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bending at your hips and knees, squat down and lower your body until you can place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs backward—into a pushup position—and then immediately reverse the move and quickly stand up from the squat. That's one rep. To make the exercise even more challenging, you can jump up from the squat instead of simply standing up quickly. Watch the video below to see strength coach David Jack do the squat thrust:


Thursday, 12 February 2015

Why men wolf down their meals while women take their time

The sexes have different CHEWING patterns 

  • Researchers found men take larger, more powerful bites when eating
  • Means they eat their meals faster than women who chew at the same speed
  • Women chewed each mouthful more times, taking longer to eat a meal
Many a woman has watched in disbelief as their partner inhales their food minutes after sitting down to dinner.
Now Korean researchers have discovered why: men and women actually chew differently.
Men take larger, more powerful bites - meaning they finish eating more quickly - while women chew each individual mouthful more times - taking longer to finish eating their meal.
The researchers recruited 24 male and 24 female undergraduates from the Semyung University in South Korea, where they are based.

Men eat faster than women because they take larger, more powerful bites, which means they consume their meal more quickly, Korean researchers found
Men eat faster than women because they take larger, more powerful bites, which means they consume their meal more quickly, Korean researchers found

In order to analyse each individual’s chewing pattern, they hooked electrodes up to their jaws and fed them 152g of boiled white rice, Past Magazine reports. 
They documented the size of people’s bites, total chewing time per mouthful of food, total number of chews and how long it took the person to eat the entire meal.

There was a large variation between men and women on every parameter, they found.
Men typically take larger bites with more ‘chewing power’, which means they consume their meal more quickly than women.
Though women were found to have the same chewing pace as men, they chewed each mouthful more times, slowing down the total time it took them to eat their meal. 
The study was published in the January issue of the Physiology and Behaviour journal.
It flies in the face of an earlier study, by researchers at Nippon Dental University’s Department of Partial and Complete Denture, in Tokyo, Japan, which found no difference in how the sexes chewed gum.
Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University said there was not only a difference in how the sexes chew, but between different types of people.


Chewing breaks food down into small pieces, which increases the surface area for the digestive enzymes to react with and so helps swallowing and digestion.
Chewing also sends messages to the brain through the trigeminal nerve in the face.
The brain then sends signals down the vagus nerve (the long nerve connecting to the abdomen) to tell the stomach to start acid secretion in preparation for the food arriving.
Chewing also generates saliva from the salivary glands, which mixes with the food, ensuring it’s the right consistency to be digested and travel through the digestive system. 
Saliva is also essential for cleaning our mouths when we’re eating. 
People with ‘type A’ personalities - typically fast moving, impatient and ambitious people - tend to eat quickly.
Conversely, ‘type B’ characters - who are generally more laid back, considered and approach things at a slower pace - will relish their mealtimes, Professor Cooper told MailOnline.
His observation comes after actress and model Gwyneth Paltrow, revealed during her 20s she followed a macrobiotic diet, during which chewed her food at least 50 times per swallow.
This was thought to aid digestion, and means the stomach sends signals to the brain indicating it is satisfied, making a person feel fuller sooner, and eat less calories overall.
On average, it is said we chew 800 to 1,400 times a day. 
But Dr Nick Read, chief medical adviser for charity The IBS Network, said a change in our diet means we don't need to chew as often as in the past.
He said: ‘The Victorians thought you needed to chew food 14 times but we generally wait until it feels right and then swallow - it’s intuitive.’
But because our diet has become softer, thanks to all that processed food, we now don’t need to chew for so long.
However, raw fruit and vegetables, and meat, demand more chewing. 
Dr Read told MailOnline: ‘If you don’t, lumps of food will pass through your digestive system and not be completely absorbed.' 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Want to shed a stone over a year without doing any exercise?

Just eat a handful of berries every day 

  • Those in the study replaced sugary afternoon snack with berries
  • This lead to them consuming 134 fewer calories at the next meal 
  • This could lead to 1lb weight loss a month, without doing any exercis

Simply swapping a chocolate bar or packet of sweets for a handful of berries as an afternoon snack can lead to nearly a stone of weight loss over a year.
Researchers found that people who snacked on the fruits ate fewer calories at their next meal.  
While 'super berries' such as acai and goji have been touted for their weight loss virtues, the scientists in this study looked at the effects of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.

Simple swap: People who snacked on berries with the same energy content of their usual sugary snack - sich as a bar of chocolate or sweets - ate 134 fewer calories at their next meal

Loughborough University researchers found people who snacked on berries with the same energy content of the sugary snack ate 134 fewer calories.
Without doing any exercise, this could lead to 1lb of weight loss a month, 
It would also boost the number of people achieving the recommended fruit and veg intake of five portions a day, with only 30 per cent of Britons achieving this. 
The study was commissioned by Seasonal Berries, which represents the soft fruit industry.

Dr Lewis James, from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, said: 'Our research shows an afternoon snack of mixed berries decreases energy intake at dinner.
'It's a simple method that might help people control and lose weight.
'There are a number of potential health benefits of consuming berries, but this is the first time that consuming them as a snack has been shown to reduce how much people eat during the next meal of the day.' 

'The cumulative effect of the reduced calories could help people lose the extra pounds without them having to make an effort, or even noticing.'
In the four-month, participants ate a berry snack and were then told to eat a pasta dinner until they were 'comfortably full and satisfied'.
Those who had a sugary snack ate nearly 20 per cent more food at dinner than those who had eaten a handful of berries.
Those who snacked on berries consumed, on average, 134 fewer calories. 
Dr James estimated that people switching from an afternoon confectionery snack to mixed berries might expect to reduce their energy intake by 938 calories a week on average.
Given that 1lb of body fat is equivalent to around 3,500 calories, this reduction in daily energy intake would could produce a loss of approximately 1lb of body fat a month - or a stone in a year.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Power napping really IS good for you

A 30-minute snooze can repair the damage caused by a lack of sleep, study finds

  • Naps help relieve stress and bolster the immune system, study finds
  • Scientists hope findings will help shift workers and insomnia sufferers
  • Sleep deprivation increases risk of obesity, diabetes and depression
  • New research found 30-minute nap helps repair damage of too little sleep

Indulging in a power nap can repair the damage caused by a lack of sleep, new research today claims.
Having a 30-minute snooze can help relieve stress and bolster the immune systems by restoring hormones and proteins to normal levels.
Scientists hope their findings will help shift workers and those suffering insomnia, by mitigating the damage caused by too few hours sleep.
Sleep deprivation not only puts people at increased risk of suffering accidents, but they are also more likely to develop chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.  

Indulging in a 30-minute power nap can help restore the damage caused by having too little sleep, a new study has today revealed

Indulging in a 30-minute power nap can help restore the damage caused by having too little sleep, a new study has today revealed

Dr Brice Faraut, of the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité, said: 'Our data suggests a 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep.
'This is the first study that found napping could restore biomarkers of neuroendocrine and immune health to normal levels.
'Napping may offer a way to counter the damaging effects of sleep restriction by helping the immune and neuroendocrine systems to recover.

'The findings support the development of practical strategies for addressing chronically sleep-deprived populations, such as night and shift workers.'
The study examined the relationship between hormones and sleep in a group of 11 healthy men between 25 and 32.
During one session, the men were limited to two hours of sleep for one night.
For the other session, they were able to take two, 30-minute naps the day after their sleep was restricted to two hours.
Each of the three-day sessions began with a night where subjects spent eight hours in bed and concluded with a recovery night of unlimited sleep.
Their urine and saliva was analysed to determine how restricted sleep and napping altered hormone levels.

After a night of limited sleep, the men had a 2.5 fold increase in levels of norepinephrine, a hormone and neurotransmitter involved in the body's fight-or-flight response to stress.
Norepinephrine increases the body's heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar. Researchers found no change in norepinephrine levels when the men had napped following a night of limited sleep.
Lack of sleep also affected the levels of interleukin-6, a protein with antiviral properties, found in the saliva.
The levels dropped after a night of restricted sleep, but remained normal when the subjects were allowed to nap. The changes suggest naps can be beneficial for the immune system.
The study was published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.


Friday, 6 February 2015



Simple changes to your posture, following basic yoga principles, will transform how slim you look 

All yogis and dancers know that when the pelvic floor is engaged it triggers other muscles in the core of the body to support the lower back and spine. This action protects your back and alleviates back pain, but also gives the appearance of a slimmer, more toned abdomen.

The biggest enemy of good posture is gravity. The downward force of gravity makes us slump and appear less tall than we really are. Stand tall and lift yourself up from within. Imagine a thread extending the length of your spine and out of the crown of your head. You’ll feel lighter, brighter and taller.

Too many of us hardly use our intercostal breathing muscles (the ones between each rib) and instead breathe down into our belly. The result? A protruding stomach. When you are standing or sitting up, get into the habit of breathing into the chest. Feel the ribs expand and the in-breath lift you up. Your posture will be better and you will face the world with more confidence.

We all hold tension in the shoulders, and when we feel very stressed they curl forwards and rise up towards our ears. If you feel this happening, roll your shoulders back and release your shoulder blades down your back, if you like with a big sigh through the mouth. You will feel stress leaving the body.

Not too much — you don’t want to impersonate a sergeant-major. A slight chin tuck lengthens the back of the neck and helps to lift the posture. It also brings the head back into perfect balance on the spine, preventing tension building up in neck and shoulder muscles.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

These exercises are easy to do and for best results can be done with a resistance band.

Note: It is advisable to check with your doctor before undertaking any exercise routine.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Why fizzy drinks (and even sparkling water) are WORSE than you thought

  • More than one sugary drink a day could bring on a girl's periods early
  • Two cans of full-sugar cola may make your cells 4.6 years older
  • Women who drinks 3+ sugary drinks may have increased risk of cancer
  • Fizzy drinks with lots of fruit juice have been linked to fatty liver disease
We're drinking more soft drinks than ever before - on average, 25 gallons each a year. But what is it doing to our health? Last week, U.S. researchers suggested that girls who frequently had fizzy drinks were more likely to start puberty early. And it's not just sugary drinks - diet versions, even sparkling water, can have an effect on health, as ANGELA EPSTEIN reports...

1. They speed up ageing
People who drink the equivalent of two cans of full-sugar cola daily may age more quickly than people who never drink it, say U.S. researchers.
Last year, scientists at the University of California found these people had DNA changes that made their cells 4.6 years older - their telomeres, the tiny 'caps' that protect the ends of our chains of DNA, were shorter. 'Telomere length has an impact on cell repair and regeneration and that is linked to the ageing process,' says Dr Sajjad Rajpar, a consultant dermatologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.'
'A great deal of research is looking at how telomere length can affect that process.'

2. They trigger sugar cravings
Drinking just two cans of sugary fizzy drinks a day dulls people's perceptions of sweet tastes and makes them crave sugar even more, says Dr Hans-Peter Kubis, a physiologist at the University of Bangor who led a study into the effects of fizzy drinks on the body.
'Because sweetness is strongly connected to the reward system in the brain, people may increase the frequency of their use of sugar as a result.' The bubbles, too, could make you want more sugar.
Carbon dioxide acts as an acid which enhances our responses to other tastes, such as sugar, says Dr Kubis. 'Though the sugar may create the craving responses, the acidity or fizz of the drink makes the pleasantness of the taste even stronger. This could explain why people prefer carbonated water over still.'

3. They have been linked to cancer
Women who have more than three sugary drinks - fizzy or otherwise - a week may have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Last year, researchers from Laval University in Quebec found that the more sugary and fizzy drinks consumed by women, the greater the density of their breasts - a known risk factor for cancer.
It is not clear how the two might be linked and more research is needed.
'Women with dense breasts have a higher risk of developing cancer because there are more cells that can become cancerous,' explains Dr Anne Trigg, a medical oncologist at the London Bridge Hospital.
'It can increase the risk factor four-fold. It may be linked to higher levels of oestrogen, which is associated with breast cancer.' 

4. They may damage bones
Drinking large quantities of cola could affect your bones, U.S. researchers have suggested. This is because they often contain high levels of phosphoric acid - added to cola-type drinks to give them a tangy taste, and tingle when swallowed.
A 2006 study by nutritional epidemiologists at Tufts University in Boston found that women who drank cola daily had lower bone mineral density in their hips than those who drank it once a week, regardless of their age, total calcium intake or use of cigarettes and alcohol.
The body naturally strives to maintain balanced levels of calcium and phosphorus - so when there is excess phosphorus, calcium is released from the bones to correct the balance.
Researchers didn't find this effect when women drank other fizzy drinks. It's possible that the caffeine in the cola had an impact, since caffeine has been associated with risk of lower bone density.
If you suffer from bloating, the extra gas will make it worse
If you suffer from bloating, the extra gas will make it worse
The National Osteoporosis Society says that while there is 'no clear evidence' of fizzy drinks having a detrimental effect on bone health, women may want to moderate their intake.
The other problem is that people prefer fizzy drinks to calcium-rich milk, adds Dr Peter Selby, an osteoporosis expert based at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

5. They cause bloating
When we have a fizzy drink, the gas - namely carbonic acid - fills the stomach with air, creating pressure which pushes the air back up the gullet (or oesophagus) causing a belch.
And if you suffer from bloating, the extra gas will make it worse, says Dr Steven Mann, a consultant gastroenterologist at the Royal Free Hospital in London, as the air will simply sit in the stomach. These bubbles eventually burst and get reabsorbed into the blood, he adds. Fizzy drinks can also aggravate irritable bowel syndrome, a disorder linked to digestive system problems.

6. They attack your teeth
Sugar reacts with the bacteria in plaque (the sticky coating on your teeth) and produces harmful acids that can cause decay, making sugary fruit juices a threat to oral health.
But fizzy drinks may cause even greater damage. A study by the University of Birmingham found that full-sugar cola is ten times as corrosive as fruit juices in the first three minutes of drinking, even though they contain similar amounts of sugar.
It's thought citric acid added to give drinks their tangy taste might be to blame. 'Even diet colas, though low in sugar, can be bad for teeth, because of the citric acid in diet and sweetened fizzy drinks,' said Professor Damian Walmsley, scientific adviser to the British Dental Association.
Fizzy water can also damage teeth because it contains carbonic acid, formed when carbon dioxide is dissolved in water, which erodes tooth enamel.
The more sugary and fizzy drinks consumed by women, the greater the density of their breasts - a known risk factor for cancer
'Even one glass can cause microscopic levels of the outer surface of the enamel to dissolve, and when we consume something acidic, the mouth stays acidic for 45 minutes before returning to a normal pH level,' says Professor Andrew Eder of University College London's Eastman Dental Institute.
However, you'd need to drink sparkling water on a daily basis for years to suffer the effect - one or two glasses a week won't hurt.

7. They bombard your liver
Fizzy drinks with high levels of fruit juice have been linked to fatty liver disease. A 2009 Israeli study found that people who have two cans of fizzy fruit drinks a day were five times more likely to develop the condition, a precursor to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer.
The drinks have high levels of fruit sugar, readily absorbed by the liver and converted into fat. And upmarket fizzy drinks are no healthier as sparkling elderflower and sports drinks can contain up to 13tsp of sugar, compared with around 9tsp in supermarket cola, campaign group Action on Sugar said last year.
Although the evidence is inconclusive the study suggests diet drinks have a similar effect by tricking the body into thinking it has had sugar.

8. They can harm a child's tummy
Flat cola or lemonade is a popular remedy for an upset stomach, but it could actually be bad for children with stomach bugs.
The lining of the stomach and intestines are often temporarily damaged by stomach bugs, and high-sugar drinks can make this worse, possibly because bacteria feed off sugar, says Dr Stephen Murphy, who chaired the committee that wrote the NHS official guidelines on treating children's stomach bugs.
These warned parents against giving children these drinks, saying water with oral salt solution, such as Dioralyte, is preferable as it contains the right minerals and sugar.
Diet drinks can be problematic because the sweeteners may be difficult to absorb by the stomach, increasing the risk of diarrhoea says Dr Peter Fairclough, consultant gastroenterologist at the London Clinic. Whatever people think, carbonated drinks, fizzy or flat, won't get rid of bacteria causing a bad stomach, adds Alastair Forbes, professor of gastroenterology at the University of East Anglia.

9. They may bring on puberty early
Drinking more than one sugary drink a day could bring on a girl's periods early, suggested U.S. scientists last week.
In a study of 6,000 adolescent girls, researchers from Harvard found that those drinking more than 1.5 sugar-sweetened beverages daily had their first period 2.7 months earlier than those who had two a week or fewer.
Drinks with added sugar raise levels of insulin - the hormone that mops up glucose from the blood - which in turn may lead to higher concentrations of female sex hormones such as oestrogen.
The researchers suggest this also put girls at higher risk of breast cancer, as early oestrogen exposure may increase the risk of certain types of the disease.

Fizzy drinks could actually be bad for children with stomach bugs


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