Perhaps there is nothing like a chilly sizzling soda sliding up through a straw, or sipped straight out of a cold can, fizzing and buzzing as it sinfully and deliciously glides down your throat. Is it the bubbles that have you hooked? The caffeine sensation? Or is it simply the taste?
For me, it was the taste. Yes, there was a time I, Ms. Fitness Conscientious, drank soda. Diet Mountain Dew. I simply loved the lemon lime taste and the fuzzily feel. But one day I had a terribly reaction when I went without it for just one day. That was my wakeup call and I haven’t had a sip of the stuff since.
Americans are drinking more pop sodas today than ever before. Sodas may taste great and keep us extra alert, but no matter what brand you may guzzle down, they all lack nutritional value and are an unhealthy beverage choice.
Most sodas are composed of carbonated water, dye coloring, sugar or an artificial sweetener, caffeine, phosphoric acid and contain high-fructose corn syrup. The perfect recipe for tooth decay, nutritional depletion, obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. You are also more of risk to osteoporosis as the carbonation and phosphoric acid can decrease your blood calcium levels. Soda can stain your teeth yellow and can contribute to cellulite. The caffeine in soda can decrease the calcium in your body, as well as stimulate your central nervous system causing stress, a racing mind, insomnia and the jitters. And not only is caffeine a stimulant that can be habit forming, it is diuretic which can cause you dehydration.
Diet sodas are not a healthier choice and they are not going to help you lose those last 10 pounds. On the contrary. The artificial sweeteners stevia, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, acesulfame potassium, and saccharin that are added to sodas actually all hinder dieting and all can be health threatening. Studies have shown artificial sweeteners linking to depression, panic attacks, headaches, allergies, infertility, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other medical conditions. Drinking either diet or regular soda on a daily basis will also cause a 30% increased chance of you gaining weight around the middle than if you opted for just plain water or other healthier choices. And a recent Purdue University study released in the journal Behavioral Neuroscience hints at the idea that artificial sweeteners, like those found in soda, might alter a person’s metabolism.
Sodas also contain preservatives. The main preservative in most brands is sodium benzoate, although many brands are taking steps to remove this additive. Sodium benzoate is used to preserve freshness and can also be found in other acidic foods such as salad dressings, jams and fruit juices. But at the same time, this preservative can also be found in alcohol-based mouthwashes, cough syrups, shampoos, silver polishes and even some fireworks. Yummy, huh? And although the FDA has previously classified sodium benzoate as safe, the classification is now being questioned. Studies have revealed that when in the presence of vitamin C, sodium benzoate forms a chemical known as benzene, which not only causes damage to DNA, it’s a known carcinogen and plays a death defying role in a variety of diseases. Further studies have also found a link of sodium benzoate to hyperactivity when paired up with artificial coloring, having a particular effect on some children. All away around, sodium benzoate is nothing but bad unhealthy news.
But there are some useful good uses of the sizzle stuff. Some auto mechanics actually use soda as an industrial agent, to put out engine fires or to place on corroded car batteries as a dissolvent for alkali. Police officers sometimes use soda to remove blood from the highways stemming from accidents. And cleaning professionals often use soda to remove hard stains found in bathrooms.
With the high sugar content, the elevated acidity, the addictive psychoactive stimulant and the dangerous artificial sweeteners all found in soda, it is truly the drink of self bodily destruction. Avoiding the popular beverage can be the best thing you can do for your teeth, your bones, your waistline and your overall health.
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.