Soda consumption is the number one calorie source from processed foods in the U.S. It outpaces mass produced candy and bread products, easily becoming a normal part of someone’s diet. Once consider a treat for special occasions, it is readily available and inexpensive. However, this sweet drink brings with it no nutritional value. Made of artificial flavors, sweeteners, additives, preservatives and engineered sugars, the effects of soda consumption can be detrimental to your health.
Side Effects of Soda
1. Increased Chance of Diabetes
Because soda is so high in sugar, it causes spikes in your glucose blood levels, as well as weight gain. Both of these effects of soda increase your chances of developing diabetes. When you come down from your sugar high, you are unduly tired and hungry, causing you to eat unnecessary calories. Setting a limit of less than six teaspoons of sugar a day can result in a significant decrease in your diabetes risk. Ten teaspoons of sugar are in a single regular 12-ounce can of soda. Drinking only one soda a day can increase your chances of metabolic syndrome by over 25 percent. Don’t be fooled by diet soda. Drinking it in lieu of regular soda can actually end up triggering a sugar craving. This is because the artificial sweeteners do not satisfy your craving and you end up finding it from other sources. Artificial sweeteners carry their own set of negative side effects.
2. Greater Chance of Childhood Obesity
Children run a greater risk of suffering from the effects of soda and have an increased chance of obesity. They give in to their sugary cravings more often than adults, commonly choosing a soda over a healthy drink or snack. Since soda has no nutritional value, they should not be introduced into a child’s diet in the first place. In addition, its caffeine content reduces a child’s appetite for healthy foods, preventing he or she from getting the nutrients they need to develop and grow. Instead this bad source of calories promotes unhealthy weight gain and bad habits into adulthood.
3. Higher Risk of Developing Heart Disease
The development of diabetes and obesity from drinking sodas can lead to a higher chance of developing heart disease. The effects of soda consumption on a regular basis includes a 20% increase in your risk of suffering from a heart attack. When you get a majority of your calorie intake from sugar, you tend to neglect your diet. Instead of drinking soda, you should eat foods rich in fiber and nutrients, such as vegetables and fruits. Otherwise, you can cause an imbalance in your blood cholesterol levels, which can lead to detrimental heart conditions.
4. Leads to Tooth Decay and Erosion
Too much sugar in your diet can cause the bacteria in your mouth to become acidic. In turn, too much of this acid can lead to tooth decay and enamel erosion as it eats away at teeth. Children who drink soda excessively have a greater chance of suffering from tooth problems because their enamel is still developing. While drinking with a straw or brushing your teeth shortly after drinking a soda may help, it does not prevent all the possible damage. Diet soda isn’t any better, as it contains preservatives like phosphoric and citric acid. These ingredients can cause higher acidic levels, which can lead to enamel erosion and tooth decay.
5. Increased Risk of Bone Fractures and Osteoporosis
Because one of the main ingredients of soda is phosphoric acid, drinking too much of it can disrupt calcium absorption. Added to enhance the sugary flavor, it also hinders the growth of needed microorganisms. When calcium absorption and metabolism is off balance, it can lead to weak bones. In addition, the caffeine content can block your body from getting other nutrients and minerals it needs to maintain healthy bones. Older women are at a greater risk of suffering from the negative effects of soda. Research has found that older women have increased instances of bone fractures and osteoporosis when consuming soda on a daily basis. Men did not suffer the same consequences, which may be due to women having smaller bones and greater hormone fluctuations.
6. Leads to Kidney Problems
Drinking two servings of soda a day has been linked to an increased risk of kidney problems. The phosphoric acid content in sodas can result in kidney stones, urinary inconsistencies or disturbances and even kidney disease.
7. Higher Chance of Liver Disease
One of the most common sweeteners found in sodas is high fructose corn syrup, which is produced from corn starch. Also known as HFCS, the ingredients can only be broken down by your liver. When you drink too many sodas, you have a higher chance of developing fatty non-alcoholic liver disease. The high sugar content also increases your chances of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. HFCS is often used because it is less expensive than sugar. Because of its widespread use in not only sodas, but other sweet drinks as well, it is considered an attributing factor in the obesity problem in the U.S.
8. Greater Cancer Risk
One of the most detrimental effects of soda is an increased chance of cancer. This greater risk is caused by many factors. The color additive in soda might be visually appealing, but its source has been found to be damaging to your health. The brown food coloring contains the carcinogen 4-methylimidazole. Studies have linked the development of liver, lung and thyroid cancers in rodents to the consumption of this additive. If you drink orange flavored sodas with a vitamin C additive, you run the risk of developing cancer because of its benzene content. In research studies, it has been linked to bone marrow damage and blood cancers. The ingredients in soda is not the only problem. Packaging of the sugary drink in aluminum cans and plastic bottles increases your exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), which has been found to raise blood pressure and interfere with hormone production.
9. Interferes with Sleep
Caffeine is a very addictive stimulant, which can be helpful when you need extra energy to finish a project or meet a deadline. However, when drank in excess, the caffeine in sodas can interfere with your sleep and cause digestive problems. There is a higher chance of this occurring in children as their caffeine limit is contained in just one can of soda, regular or diet. When children or adults do not get enough sleep, this can lead to worse health problems in the long run.
10. May Cause Breathing Problems
Studies have found that consuming more than sixteen ounces of soda a day can result in breathing problems like asthma and COPD. The development of these health issues is linked to several factors. The high sugar level in soda can trigger allergies, causing inflammation in your airways. The preservative content, which includes phthalates, nitrites, sodium benzoate and sulphites, can exasperate these symptoms.
11. Excessive Weight Gain
One of the most commonly seen effects of soda is weight gain. If you drank only one soda a day for a year, you would consume an extra 130,000 calories resulting in fifteen pounds of fat added to your body. This primarily caused by the high sugar and calorie content. A regular 12-ounce serving of soda contains nearly 40 grams of sugar and about 150 calories. Making matters worse, the sugar in soda comes from HFCS. Your body has a hard time processing it and resulting in more of the fructose being absorbed in your system. Because fructose affects your metabolism and insulin levels, it can lead to even greater weight gain. Drinking diet sodas won’t help. As mentioned previously, the artificial sweeteners in diet soda can increase your sugar cravings, which can cause you to eat more sugary foods. This leads to higher calorie consumption, much more than your body requires.
12. More Skin Blemishes and Acne
Studies have found that consuming foods and drinks with high sugar content can cause an imbalance in your insulin levels. This can lead to acne, especially since soda is considered one of the highest glycemic content sources. Diet soda can cause skin blemishes as well as its high acidic content can interfere with your pH levels. This results in a dull complexion, increased chance of acne and other skin damaging effects.
13. Decreased Sperm Count
A study found one of the possible effects of soda is a lower sperm count. The research found that men who drank sugary beverages and sodas had slower sperm, too. Both of these issues are contributing factors to infertility and reproductive challenges.