What Soft Drinks are Doing to Your Body
Written by Glenn Rosenberg
Monday, 30 January 2017
Soda, pop, cola, soft drink — whatever you call it, it is one of the worst beverages that you could be drinking for your health. As the debate for whether to put a tax on the sale of soft drinks continues, you should know how they affect your body so that you can make an informed choice on your own.
Soft drinks contain little to no vitamins or other essential nutrients.
However, it is what they do contain that is the problem: caffeine,
carbonation, simple sugars — or worse, sugar substitutes — and often
food additives such as artificial coloring, flavoring, and
A lot of research has found that consumption of soft drinks in high
quantity, especially by children, is responsible for many health
problems that include tooth decay, nutritional depletion, obesity,
type-2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Why the sugar in soft drinks isn’t so sweet
Most soft drinks contain a high amount of simple sugars. The USDA
recommendation of sugar consumption for a 2,000-calorie diet is a daily
allotment of 10 teaspoons of added sugars. Many soft drinks contain
more than this amount!
Just why is too much sugar so unhealthy? Well, to start, let's talk
about what happens to you as sugar enters your body. When you drink
sodas that are packed with simple sugars, the pancreas is called upon
to produce and release insulin, a hormone that empties the sugar in
your blood stream into all the tissues and cells for usage. The result
of overindulging in simple sugar is raised insulin levels. Raised blood
insulin levels beyond the norm can lead to depression of the immune
system, which in turn weakens your ability to fight disease.
Something else to consider is that most of the excess sugar ends up
being stored as fat in your body, which results in weight gain and
elevates risk for heart disease and cancer. One study found that when
subjects were given refined sugar, their white blood cell count
decreased significantly for several hours afterwards. Another study
discovered that rats fed a high-sugar diet had a substantially elevated
rate of breast cancer when compared to rats on a regular diet.
The health effects of diet soda
You may come to the conclusion that diet or sugar-free soda is a better
choice. However, one study discovered that drinking one or more soft
drinks a day — and it didn’t matter whether it was diet or regular —
led to a 30% greater chance of weight gain around the belly.
Diet soda is filled with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame,
sucralose, or saccharin. These artificial sweeteners pose a threat to
your health. Saccharin, for instance, has been found to be
carcinogenic, and studies have found that it produced bladder cancer in
Aspartame, commonly known as nutrasweet, is a chemical that stimulates
the brain to think the food is sweet. It breaks down into acpartic
acid, phenylalanine, and methanol at a temperature of 86 degrees.
(Remember, your stomach is somewhere around 98 degrees.) An article put
out by the University of Texas found that aspartame has been linked to
obesity. The process of stimulating the brain causes more cravings for
sweets and leads to carbohydrate loading.
Carbonation depletes calcium
Beverages with bubbles contain phosphoric acid, which can severely
deplete the blood calcium levels; calcium is a key component of the
bone matrix. With less concentration of calcium over a long time, it
can lower deposition rates so that bone mass and density suffer. This
means that drinking sodas and carbonated water increases your risk of
Add in the caffeine usually present in soft drinks, and you are in for
even more trouble. Caffeine can deplete the body’s calcium, in addition
to stimulating your central nervous system and contributing to stress,
a racing mind, and insomnia.
Skip the soda and go for:
• Fresh water
Water is a vital beverage for good health. Each and every cell needs
water to perform its essential functions. Since studies show that tap
water is filled with contaminants, antibiotics, and a number of other
unhealthy substances, consider investing in a quality carbon-based
filter for your tap water. To find out more about a high-performance
filtration system, click here.
On the go? Try using a stainless steel thermos or glass bottle, filled
with filtered water. Enhance the flavor of your water with a refreshing
infusion of basil, mint leaves, and a drop of honey.
• Fruit Juice
If you are a juice drinker, try watering down your juice to cut back on
the sugar content. Buy a jar of organic 100% juice, especially
cranberry, acai, pomegranate, and then dilute three parts filtered
water to one part juice. You will get a subtle sweet taste and the
benefit of antioxidants. After a couple of weeks, you will no longer
miss the sweetness of sugary concentrated juices.
Tea gently lifts your energy and has numerous health benefits. Black,
green, white, and oolong teas all contain antioxidant polyphenols. In
fact, tea ranks as high or higher than many fruits and vegetables on
the ORAC scale, the score that measures antioxidant potential of
Herbal tea does not have the same antioxidant properties, though it is
still a great beverage choice with other health benefits, such as
inducing calming and relaxing effects.
If tea doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, try adding cinnamon or a
little honey, which has important health benefits that refined sugar
lacks. For a selection of healthy teas that promote total body
wellness, click here. Drink up!
I hope you find the ways and means to avoid soft drinks. I invite you
to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
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