10 Side Effects of Drinking Soda
A soda is a beverage that contains carbonated water, some form of sweetening agent usually sugar, and another form of flavoring agent usually caffeine or fruit juice. Sodas are served cold and never warm.
We all know what a soda is and even have our own favorite brand and flavor. From time to time it does no harm to drink one either. But the rate at which the population consumes soda is starting to become a worry.
25% of all drinks in the United States are composed of soda. In the year 2000, 15 billion gallons of soda were sold in the United States. That’s like giving everyone a 12-ounce soda every day. The worst part is kids are the ultimate consumers of soda. For them drinking soda is as normal as drinking water.
Since drinking soda is part of their lives, questions start to materialize in our mind. How will their health be in a few years? Will they encounter problems as they continue to consume soda? Are there any serious side effects to consider?
The following are 10 of these that might make you and your kids think twice before drinking that sweet, delicious, soda.
1. Tooth Decay
Amusingly enough, makers of soda have admitted that drinking their products will lead to tooth decay. They haven’t come out saying that directly, but have hinted of this side effect. So if you’re an avid soda drinker you might want to schedule a visit to the dentist.
2. Calcium Loss and Osteoporosis
Phosphoric acid sucks the calcium out of bones and is a major contributor to osteoporosis. Breaking down the components of a soda will reveal that phosphoric acid is the most active ingredient, a pH of 2.8 to be exact. The more soda you drink every day the more calcium you lose. Without calcium your bones weaken and become vulnerable to a lot of illnesses.
We have thought that soda since they contain a ton of sugar and calories that they make their drinkers fat. Well it seems we were right after all.
A combined team of Harvard researchers and a British medical team conducted a study proving this true. They discovered that 12 years old children who are regular soda drinkers increased their risk of obesity 1.6 times. The study was done for 2 years.
4. Caffeine Addiction
An interesting reason why the majority of soda drinkers can’t quit is because of the presence of caffeine. Soda drinkers are addicted to the beverage because of the large amounts of caffeine. With caffeine over-consumption a person can become nervous, irritable, and anxious. Physical effects also occur as the person has twitching, headaches, heart palpitations, and insomnia.
5. Kidney Stones
Drinking large amounts of soda can lead to the formation of kidney stones or “pebbles” that are formed in the urethra. The pebbles themselves are solid concretions formed in the kidneys from dissolved urinary minerals like soda. If a kidney stone sounds painful, believe me it is. So if you see blood in your urine it’s time to stop drinking that soda.
6. Financial Loss
This maybe an exaggeration but definitely not one you expect. But let’s do the math here. An average pack of soda, assuming it’s a twelve pack, costs 3 or 4 dollars. Now let’s say you drink 4 times a week, so that twelve pack will last you 3 weeks. That is 56 dollars a year. Now you might say that isn’t so much at all. Well that’s assuming you only drink 4 bottles of soda a week. What if you actually drink more?
Well to be fair buying the soda yourself from a reputable store will avoid this. But what if you eat outside and order a soda? You cannot control how or where they get their soda.
Hollins University did a test and discovered 48% of sodas you order from restaurants and fast-food contains bacteria. Coliform bacteria are rod-shaped and commonly found in animal feces. Their mere presence is a sign of unsanitary conditions.
8. Increase In Blood Pressure
Sodas commonly need preservatives and the use of sodium benzoate achieves this. It kills bacteria and fungi when placed under acidic conditions. It is also used as a preservative in medicines and cosmetics. But has harmful side effects such as an increase in blood pressure, skin rashes and can trigger an asthma attack in asthmatic individuals.
Sodas are considered diuretic. They leave you dehydrated. They only quench thirst temporarily then leave you even thirstier. This is because of caffeine and sugar that are found in sodas.
Caffeine causes you to urinate more and frequently. Remember when you drink an alcoholic beverage and you have to go every now and then? Well alcohol also contains caffeine. Sugar on the other hand absorbs water. And since your body expels sugar through urine, it expels the water inside you as well leaving you dry, thirsty, and dehydrated.
This is a chain effect of obesity caused by drinking soda. Since you are obese you have higher chances of getting more illnesses. One of them is diabetes. In a nutshell diabetes is when your body has a hard time processing sugar.
This doesn’t surprise a lot of doctors because in 1980 there were only 6.6 million diabetic patients. Today there are over 20.8 million diabetic patients. The sweet temptation known as soda had definitely played a major role in this increase.
The key to good health is always moderation. An occasional bottle of liquor will not ruin your health and your life. This holds true to sodas. Having a nice soda now and then will not hurt you. The above side effects will only appear if you drink the sweet substance on a regular basis.
So to all regular drinkers of soda it is never too late to control the habit. Start cutting down in the number of soda you drink everyday and try to switch to a more nutritional beverage like water or fruit juice. And if you feel like reaching out for another soda, ask yourself, is it really worth it?