If so, researchers at Virginia Tech and the University of North Carolina believe the switch may come with significant health benefits. They recently completed a joint study in which they examined the effects of replacing one 8-oz. sugary beverage each day with the same amount of water.
Findings from the study, published in the journal Nutrients, reveal that the daily swap notably reduced the calorie intake from sugar-sweetened beverages and may help reduce the risk of obesity and related health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
“We found that among U.S. adults who consume one serving of sugar-sweetened beverages per day, replacing that drink with water lowered the percent of calories coming from drinks from 17 to 11 percent,” said Kiyah J. Duffey of Virginia Tech. “Even those who consumed more sugary drinks per day could still benefit from water replacement, dropping the amount of calories coming from beverages to less than 25 percent of their daily caloric intake.”
Sugary drinks such as soft drinks, juices, teas, and sports drinks still account for a large percentage of the U.S. daily caloric intake and are considered a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. However, recent data show Americans may be cutting back on their consumption, and this new study shows that even small steps can make a big difference.