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Sugar is almost unavoidable in food and drink today.

It makes up for 16 percent of our total energy intake and the largest source of it comes from sugary drinks.

Regardless of this, most of us probably enjoy a soft drink with a meal - but even if that meal is particularly healthy, all those benefits could be rendered obsolete by the beverage.

A new study has found that drinking a sugar sweetened drink with a protein rich meal, affects our metabolism and builds up fat.

This limits the value of the protein which usually increases your satiety and your metabolism, but also decreases your intake of energy.

Steak and sugar

Research by BMC Nutrition wanted to see what happens to our bodily processes when we consume a sugar sweetened drink with a steak dinner.

To do this they asked volunteers to spend 24 hours in a metabolic chamber on two different occasions.

By being in the controlled chamber, scientists could measure how the body utilises food nutrients, how many grams of fat, protein and carbohydrates are being used, and how many calories are being burned.

They then analysed how the participants used the nutrients, by examining their oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production and urinary nitrogen excretion.

All volunteers then ate the same exact types of food throughout the 24 hours.

This consisted of 15 percent protein during one day and 30 percent protein during the other day. Each meal was accompanied with a sugar-sweetened or artificially sweetened drink.

The results showed that drinking a sugary beverage with a meal decreased fat use, whilst having the same drink with a protein-rich meal decreased the fat use by 40 percent more.

They also discovered that of the calories absorbed from the drinks, only 80 of the 120 kcals were expended, which lead to a build up of 40 kcals regardless of level of protein in the meal.

Thus this shows the body's tendency to store fat from sugary drinks rather than burning it and adding more insight into the connection between these drinks and obesity.

So, next time your are out for steak dinner think twice about ordering that Coco-Cola.

HT Bio Med Central

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