Drinking sweetened drinks increases heart disease risk, says a study

Do you drink a lot of sweetened drinks regularly? Well, it can put you at risk of heart diseases like atrial fibrillation, says a study.
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Arushi Bidhuri Published: 7 Mar 2024, 20:30 pm IST
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It is better be careful of how much sugar goes into our bodies daily. One of the biggest culprits putting you at risk of developing diseases is sweetened drinks! Those frizzy companions may be tasty but they sneak into your loves and potentially affect your health. A new study has found that drinking two liters or more sweetened drinks can lead to an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, and this is not the only side effect of sweetened drinks.

What are sweetened drinks?

Sweetened drinks are beverages that have added sugar or sweetener to make them sweet. Some of these drinks include sodas, fruit drinks, and sweetened teas. These drinks can be fizzy or still and are often enjoyed for their sweet flavour, but they may also contain added calories and contribute to health issues if consumed excessively.

artificial sweeteners side effects
Artificial sweeteners in foods and drinks can have side effects. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Atrial fibrillation is the side effect of drinking sweetened drinks

When consumed in excess, sugar can be harmful to your health. The study by the American Heart Association found that drinking two liters or more per week of artificially sweetened beverages increased the risk of atrial fibrillation by 20 percent in people who did not drink any. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of heart arrhythmia, which happens when your heart beats too fast, too slow, or in an irregular way.

While drinking sweetened beverages can increase your risk of atrial fibrillation, the researchers cannot conclude that one beverage increases the risk more than the other beverage. Young females were more likely to consume more artificially sweetened beverages and young males were found to consume more sugar-sweetened beverages. People who consumed more sugar-sweetened drinks and juices were more likely to have a higher intake of total sugar than those who consumed artificially sweetened drinks, found the study.

People who consumed more artificially sweetened drinks were more likely to be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well. Smokers who drank more than two liters per week of sugar-sweetened beverages were also at a 31 percent higher risk of atrial fibrillation.

What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of heart arrhythmia, affects the way your heart beats. AFib affects the coordination between the upper chambers and lower chambers of the heart, causing your heart to beat too slowly or too quickly. It can even increase your risk of developing a stroke, as per the data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

The best way to treat any condition is by knowing its symptoms and addressing them as early as possible. Here are the symptoms of the condition that you must know:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
woman with hand on chest
Know the symptoms of atrial fibrillation. Image courtesy: Shutterstock


Drinking two liters of sweetened drinks can put you at risk of atrial fibrillation, which is a dangerous heart problem that can lead to several complications including stroke and even death. It is best to replace sugary drinks with healthy beverages to keep your heart health as well as overall health in check.

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas in different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, etc. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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