Around the world, the consumption of soda and sugary drinks is high. Soda has even become the most consumed beverage after water.
But what people ignore is the damage they are causing to their health and body when choosing those drinks, sometimes instead of water.
Studies have shown that the average American drinks about 57 gallons of soda per year, without realizing that it can be causing some of their health problems.
So what are the downsides of drinking soda?
1. Weight gain.
While most people believe that soda makes them feel full so they eat less, it is actually not the case. In fact, they will be eating the same amount of food, only with extra calories. Drinking soda is linked to obesity; a person who drinks soda is more likely to be obese than one who does not. For each soda per day, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times. When soda is swallowed, blood level increases and insulin is triggered, sending the body into fat storage mode. Therefore, the fructose contained in the soda will be transformed into fat.
2. Risk of addiction.
The combination of caffeine and aspartame in soda works the way cocaine does. Soon after the soda is drank, caffeine is absorbed which causes a dilatation of the pupil and a rise in blood pressure. It is often compared to the effect of cocaine because dopamine production increases, stimulating the pleasure centers of the brain. Soon enough, the body will crave for more causing the risk of addiction.
3. Teeth damage.
Soda contains phosphoric acid that attacks and dissolves tooth enamel. With this acid, teeth become vulnerable to decay, cavities and gum disease. An acidic environment is created in the mouth, and the sugar from the soda feeds the bacteria that resides there.
4. Risk of diabetes and heart disease.
People who drink sodas are more likely to get type II diabetes. Each can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, leading to diabetes in the long term as well as an insulin resistance. In addition, sodas contain high fructose corn syrup which is associated with the risk of metabolic syndrome, linked to diabetes and heart diseases.
5. No nutrients, just sugar.
Soda does not have any essential nutrients and there are actually no benefits of drinking it. It harms the body while leaving a person wanting more and craving sweets. Basically, it is “empty” calories, adding only sugar to the diet. Moreover, soda is made out of tap water that can contain chemicals like fluoride and chlorine. It gives the illusion of being hydrating, while in reality its high contents in sugar, caffeine and sodium dehydrates the body and exposes it to the risk of chronic dehydration over time.
So, yes, soda might taste good and look harmless, but ultimately is not healthy and can not have any benefits. It is an artificial substance that has no nutrients and contains addictive properties to top it off. Deciding to cut it out of your life is the first step to a healthier and more balanced lifestyle diet.
Cover credit: Bastyr.edu (full link)