In these modern
times, sweetened carbonated beverages are widely popular among the young and
the not so young. There are a lot of widely conflicting opinions doing the
rounds with regard to several aspects of these beverages, particularly with
regard to the deleterious effect they have on our body.
There are several contradictory
opinions regarding the effect of the carbon
dioxide in the carbonated beverages on the upper digestive tract particularly
with regard to satiation and food intake.
There are reports
that these sweetened beverages could increase the gastric volume thereby
causing a great deal of discomfort. This has, however, been contradicted by
For instance Pouderoux
et al. found that there was no difference between 300 ml of both carbonated and
still water taken along with a 700 kcal meal with regard to gastric emptying or
in the feeling of fullness that it can generate. However the person tends to
belch a lot after consuming the carbonated drink.
One study have
reported gastric distress and delayed gastric emptying with either water or
cola taken during meals. Yet another study has reported increased satiety when
carbonated drinks were taken along with food.
It is understood
that several factors determine hunger
and satiety, including gastrointestinal hormones such as cholecystokinin (CCK)
subjects, of whom four were women and six were men, whose ages ranged from
19-24 years, formed the subjects. Great care was taken to see that these
individuals did not display any symptoms of gastrointestinal illnesses at the
time of study.
The study was
carried out on each subject six times, three times with a standardized solid
meal and three times with a standardized liquid
Before the administration of each meal the
subject was pre-administered 300 ml of still water, commercial
non-caloric de-carbonated water or a carbonated beverage (Sprite Zero®).
There was an interval of one week between
All the beverages
were colorless and were stored at 4 degree C and were administered directly
from the bottle it was contained in.
Besides carbonated water, the commercial
beverage included sweeteners such as aspartame 40 mg/100ml or acesulfame K 40
mg/100 ml; flavors such as lemon and lime aromas (100 mg/100 ml) and acidity
regulators such as citric acid 230 mg/100 ml or trisodium citrate 10 mg/100 ml.
dioxide concentration in the beverage was
approximately 3.7 volume when the bottle was opened.
The sequences of the type of meal consumed
during the experiments were random.
The subjects answered standardized
questionnaires with regard to their perceptions about eating and satiety. They
were made to fast overnight and examined for any gastric illnesses.
The subjects had to
drink the 300 ml beverage (water, non-carbonated or carbonated beverage) in 3
minutes, eat the meal (either solid or liquid) at an established rate until
they felt totally satiated. Then a gastric magnetic resonance and a hormonal
assay were carried out to determine total gastric volumes (TGV) at maximum
satiety (MS) on the subjects at established intervals.
There was a clear increase
in gastric volume immediately after the
individual consumed carbonated beverage (without considering food intake). This was considered to be due to the gas in
The study revealed
that in a normal person, carbon dioxide at its maximum concentration (3.7
volume) contained in a 300 ml of carbonated sweetened beverage, consumed 3 min
before a meal, did not diminish satiety or food intake compared to the intake
of still water or decarbonated beverage.
drinks did not influence the amount of
solid or liquid food consumed unless the levels consumed exceeded 300 ml.
Also the liquid meal
was more satiating probably due to its consistency.
the carbonated beverages and the consistency of meals seem to have an influence
on ghrelin release.
More research is
required in this area to establish whether different combinations of food and
beverages can influence satiety.
Reference: "The role of a pre-load beverage on gastric
volume and food intake: comparison between non-caloric carbonated and non-carbonated
beverage";Rosario et al; BMJ Nutrition 2011.