What is it about soda that we love so much? Perhaps it’s the sugary goodness in regular sodas, or the fact that it’s just easy to grab and go. After all, we are a society that is always on the go. We are also an overindulgent society as well, meaning we don’t know the meaning of moderation. One thing that our society doesn’t seem to know how to use in moderation is soda. Did you know that Americans drink an estimated 56 gallons of soda every year, individually? Let’s take a look at why this bad.
The components in soda that have the most serious side effect are:
– Phosphoric Acid
Phosphoric acid can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. The long term effect of this on a person’s health is osteoporosis and soft teeth. Our bones and teeth need calcium to remain strong and healthy. Phosphoric acid also does a number on your stomach by interfering with digestion and the processing of certain nutrients.
One can of soda contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar! Sugar leads to increased insulin levels which can then lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and weight gain. Just one can of regular soda contains around 160 calories, and if you’re not aware of how many you are drinking in a day you can lose track of the calories being consumed. I remember a point in my life when I was drinking a six pack of soda a day. All I could do was sit there and watch 30 pounds attach itself to my body. I was consuming nearly a days worth of calories just from soda! For some reason we don’t think about what’s going in when it comes to liquids. I am very aware of any soda intake now. I have enough problems with weight control, I don’t need the empty calories of soda adding to my weight. It’s a lot easier putting the weight on than it is taking it off.
Not all sodas contain caffeine, but the problem with caffeine is the long term effects it has on those that consume it. Caffeine makes us feel alert and injects adrenaline into our systems that give us a boost. It also increases dopamine levels so we feel good. Once this boost wears off, though, we can feel fatigued and depressed. This leads to more consumption of caffeine to get the adrenaline going again. To make us feel alert, caffeine blocks adenosine reception which is important in the sleep process. More importantly, adenosine reception is vital for deep sleep. The more caffeine that is consumed, the more we face insomnia and affected sleep patterns.
Caffeine is also a diurectic which causes the body to excrete water. When the body loses water, we become dehydrated. While some people reach for that can of diet soda to quench their thirst, they should think twice and grab a glass of water instead. Water replenishes our fluids while the soda depletes it. Dehydration can be serious, but it is also easily prevented and reversed.
Have you ever felt your heart flutter after consuming caffeine? I certainly have, and I don’t enjoy it. Too much caffeine can cause irregular heartbeats in some people.
Aspartame is the artificial sweetener used in diet sodas to give it that sweetened taste. While some people believe that this chemical causes cancer in the long term, there is no evidence that supports this.
The bottom line is if you can’t kick your soda habit then your best bet is to drink decaffeinated diet sodas as opposed to regular sodas. However, you should avoid both and stick to water. Water will not cause weight gain
and won’t cause you to experience caffeine withdrawals.