Those sweet carbonated drinks we buy everyday are called Soda. Sometimes, we refer to them simply as soft drinks, other times carbonated beverage or fizzy drinks. They have gradually replaced healthy drinks like water and fruit juices because sugary drinks are in demand. But if we knew about the numerous side effects of soda, would we still take them as much as we do? The health risks of soft drinks are hazardous, more hazardous than we expect.
“If we knew about the numerous side effects of soda, would we still take them ?”
Different brands keep introducing different kinds of drinks, in larger sizes, encouraging a rise in the consumption of these unhealthy substances. According to a Preventive Medicine article in 2011, about thirty one gallons of soda are consumed by an average person. These drinks contain empty calories that have no sort of value nutritionally. Taking them seldomly will not hurt, it only becomes a problem if it happens frequently- a problem to your dental health, your weight and a host of others.
These drinks typically contain fructose or sugar, citric acid, phosphoric acid, sodium and A LOT of calories. Taking it in large quantities could lead to weight gain, high sugar level, dehydration and a depletion in calcium.
Read on to discover the damage soda causes, then pass the information to friends and family.
1. High Sugar Content
Soda contains a high quantity of sugar. In a bottle of soda, there are almost forty grams of sugar. This would mean almost four teaspoons of sugar. This much sugar has a negative effect on the blood sugar level as it becomes elevated and can put you at risk of a cardiovascular disease and diabetes as it becomes increasingly difficult for the pancreas to keep up with the insulin production of the body leading to diabetes. The sugar that ends up residing in the mouth is broken down and fed on by the bacteria in the mouth. While feeding, these bacteria release an acidic by-product which is not friendly to the enamel.
2. Cause Weight Gain
Weight gain happens when more calories are ingested than burned off. Soda contains unbelievable quantities of sugar as have been said before, this is extremely unhealthy for the body. For example, a bottle of Cola that is 12-ounce contains 140 calories and if the bottle is 64-ounce, you would be gulping a whooping 700 calories. Phew! These calories consumed are known as “empty calories “, because they have no real nutritional value. If you consumed 240 calories from the 20-ounce soda, studies show that it would take a whole day of walking to burn it off! Taking a can of cola everyday for a whole month would be equivalent to taking in 3,920 extra calories, you would gain slightly over 1 pound if these calories were not burned. Do you see now how unhealthy these drinks are? Harvard studies show that continued consumption of soda is one of the major factors in the rise of the obesity epidemic. This is not just about the soda now, but here’s what happens- taking these sugary beverages often disrupts your appetites and makes you crave even more sugary food. With time, you will begin to find that you’re taking more sugary foods apart from the soda. That’s how it works. It probably is already happening to you. You run a risk of becoming obese, developing a heart disease or getting a cancer if you gain excessive weight.
3. Kidney Problems
Researches have found that taking in large quantities of soda, especially cola soda results in the formation of kidney stones. How? The drinks contain a high acidity and are minerally imbalanced. The body, in a bid to try buffering the acidity uses calcium from the bones. During the elimination of the calcium through the urine, they end up forming stones in the kidney. Another study compared the feeding habits of 465 people with kidney disease and 467 other people that were healthy. Various factors were controlled and the people were monitored. It was found that drinking two or even more colas everyday put you at risk of a chronic kidney disease.
4. Dental Issues
Your mouth is a natural habitat for bacteria – in Microbiology, it is referred to as “normal flora”. When sugar is introduced, the bacteria in the mouth feed on it and produces an acid that causes the enamel to wear away and result in cavities. You can reduce the risk of this occurrence by rinsing or brushing your mouth immediately after drinking soda. Keyword there is “reduce “ not completely eradicate. To avoid seeing the dentist, reduce or completely avoid soft drinks.
5. Calcium Deficiencies
Remember how we talked about the body using calcium from the bones? So, calcium becomes depleted in the body if this constantly happens. Calcium is important for strong teeth and bones. When soda containing high amounts of citric and phosphoric acid is continually ingested, not only is calcium depleted, it also becomes difficult for absorption of calcium to happen. This puts you at risk of osteoporosis (poor development of the bones). Your bones become weak and brittle. Your teeth can also be leached by the acids and thus exposed to dental erosion and cavities.
Soda contains both sugar and caffeine, both of which cause dehydration. High concentrations of sugar cause your body to draw off water as the kidney tries to expel the excess sugar from the blood. Caffeine is also a diuretic and has a bad effect on the body – it increases the volume of urine that is discharged. It is worse when a soda is caffeinated, as in cola – this is why you get thirstier when you take a bottle of cola soda to quench your thirst. Moreover, dehydration has a bad effect on the skin as it takes away the lustre and leaves the skin looking unhealthy.
If you try to avoid these negative effects by going for diet soda, you actually have done nothing because it makes you more prone to weight gain than weight loss. It also is as unhealthy as the others. There are a host of other effects that cannot be talked about here ,but continue to read everything you can on this. Hopefully, you will be motivated to improve your dieting. Go for alternatives such as water or fruits and vegetables when this motivation happens.