According to a recent Gallup Poll, about 48% of Americans consume at least 1 glass of soda every day, with 7% reporting drinking 4 or more glasses a day. That is a lot of pop! The Coca Cola brand is worth over $74 billion dollars, $28 billion comes from the sales of soda alone. Coca Cola classic contains 39 grams of refined sugar per serving. This means that the average American consumes 4.9 kilograms or 10.8 pounds of processed sugar a year through soda consumption alone.
But do you know what soda is actually doing to your body when you drink it?
Teeth: The sugar and acid content of soda wears away tooth enamel, making you more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay
Skin/Lungs: The Sodium Benzonate that is added as a preservative to sodas can cause potassium malabsorption. This can lead to cases of eczema, recurrent rash and asthma.
Heart: The high fructose corn syrup content of soda can increase your chances of developing metabolic syndrome, which will put you at elevated risk for developing diabetes and heart disease.
Liver: Your liver gets hit the hardest when you drink a cup of soda. Within 20 minutes of drinking your pop all the sugar will be absorbed into your bloodstream. This means that your pancreas has to produce massive amounts of insulin in order to regulate your blood sugar levels. This is very taxing for your liver as well, and your liver works to convert that extra sugar to fat. The caffeine content of your soda them must be processed and as a result the liver must release more sugar into your bloodstream to counteract the effects of the caffeine.
Reproductive Organs: Soda cans contain BPA (bisphenol-A) which is a cancer causing compound that has been known to disrupt endocrine functioning. It is possible that this compound can cause premature puberty and infertility.
Bones: Soda contains phosphoric acid, and phosphorus rich diets have an association with increased rates of bone degeneration and osteoporosis. As this phosphoric acid is excreted through your urine it also takes calcium along with it, further reducing bone stores and strength.
Other health concerns with Soda consumption:
There is a strong correlation between soda consumption and the risk of becoming obese. This correlation is so strong that some researchers say that for each soda consumed on a regular basis you increase your risk of obesity by 1.6%. Keep in mind that about 70% of cardiovascular disease cases and 42% of diabetes cases are related to obesity.
Drinking soda on a regular basis can also give you an 80% increased likelihood of developing diabetes when compared to non soda drinkers.
Soda is not worth the risk. I recommend swapping out soda for water, water with lemon, herbal teas, iced herbal teas sweetened with natural sweeteners like coconut sugar, naturally sparkling water, juices and smoothies. If you find it difficult to quit drinking soda do to the caffeine withdrawals, try replacing it with green tea. It will still give you the caffeine, but without all the other harmful substances. From there you can work to reduce your caffeine consumption gradually.
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