7 Reasons Why You Need to Ditch Soda
I think we can all agree that sodas aren’t exactly the healthiest beverages to incorporate into our lifestyles. But most of us figure they can’t be that bad since almost everybody drinks them. Certainly better than alcohol, right? Well, in reality, there are lots of reasons why soda can be dangerous. In fact, we’ve got seven reasons why you should get up your soda-drinking habit right now.
Studies have linked soda consumption with osteoporosis. In other words, that can of Pepsi or Dr. Pepper might literally be weakening your bones. What could be the causes? For one thing, the chemicals contained in soda might be causing your body to eliminate the calcium that is needed to keep bones healthy. Secondly, the sodas you’re drinking are replacing more healthy alternatives, such as calcium-rich milk. Regardless, as much as you might miss soda, your bones will be glad when you choose better options, especially as you age.
According to research, another serious problem with soda is that the sugar can weaken the immune system, especially among children. In fact, when you finish a single can of soda, your immune system can be compromised for a full 5 hours, making it vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. When you’re feeling thirsty, instead of drinking something that causes harm, why not make a choice that actually boosts your immune system, such as drinking a refreshing glass of water with a lemon?
We get it. Caffeine is the one magical elixir that gets us through the day, especially when you carry a full load of college classes or have a ton of tasks to complete at work. But for many, caffeine can lead to all sorts of serious health consequences, including digestive issues, insomnia, high levels of anxiety, breathing problems, and even irregular heartbeats. You know that annoying ringing sound in your ears? Sometimes caffeine is the culprit! If you really, really, really can’t make it through the day without the taste of soda, you should at least consider switching to the non-caffeinated variety.
There are a couple of problematic things that are going on when you drink soda: you’re getting an intense sugar rush that’s paired with all that caffeine. Yikes! It’s therefore not a complete shock that soda is extremely addictive. When you drink it, you start with the high and then experience a crash. Do you notice that when you wake up in the morning you have an intense headache? It’s all due to your caffeine addiction. Yes, caffeine is a drug; one that comes with nasty withdrawal symptoms that make you run to the coffee maker to make a cup. We understand that you crave it, and having to experience all that restlessness and other unpleasant feelings is, well, not great. So just be patient as you wean yourself off it. Over time, the symptoms dissipate and you never want caffeine again.
If you think replacing regular soda with the sugar-free version means you’re in the clear, think again. For one thing, there are certain artificial sweeteners — including aspartame and saccharin — that have been linked to cancer. Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence that drinking diet sodas result in the same spike in blood sugars and increase appetites, which in turn leads to weight gain — which is the complete opposite of why people drink diet sodas in the first place!
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that all of the sugar in your soda promotes tooth decay. The natural bacteria in our mouths have their own sweet tooth! They absolutely love the sugar, and when they feed on it they excrete acids that wear out the enamel in our teeth, causing them to start rotting away. It’s not a surprise that drinking soda is the leading cause of tooth decay, especially among children. So opt for sugar-free sodas then, right? Well, not exactly. They still contain the same highly acidic ingredients that can also destroy your teeth!
We all need calories for energy, but it is important to get the right kind of calories. It goes without saying drinking soda provides you with nothing but empty, worthless calories. If you check the label, you’ll notice that a single can of Coca-Cola contains nearly 100% of the maximum daily sugar intake, but who stops at one can? Furthermore, sodas contain high fructose corn syrup, and no matter what the corn syrup industry tries to tell you, there is a difference between that and sugar as it is more difficult for the body to process. If you need 150 calories of energy, why not get them from natural, nutritious sources such as an apple or some strawberries instead? Aside from the helpful antioxidants, you’ll get some needed fiber as well.