Soda also called soft drink, pop, soda pop, fizzy drink, seltzer, mineral, lolly water or carbonated beverage is a beverage that typically contains carbonated water, a sweetener and a flavouring. The sweetener may be sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, sugar substitutes (as in the case of diet drinks) or some combination of these. Soda may also contain caffeine, colourings, preservatives and other ingredients.
They have become such a part of popular culture that you barely cannot organise a party, funeral, engagement or sporting event without soda on the menu. The following facts about soda will shock you:
- A single can of soda contains the equivalent of about 10 teaspoons of sugar and more! This amount of sugar, especially in liquid form, skyrockets the blood sugar and causes an insulin reaction in the body. Over time, this can lead to diabetes or insulin resistance, not to mention weight gain and other health problems. All that excess sugar is stored as fat around your vital organs like your liver and kidneys and is responsible for the pot-belly we all so abhor.
- Drinking soda actually does the opposite of quenching your thirst. This is because of the high sugar, sodium and caffeine content in soda, which dehydrates the body and over a long period of time leads to chronic dehydration.
- There is absolutely no nutritional value in soda whatsoever. Soda is an unnatural substance that harms the body. Your kids are not getting more vitamins by drinking those orange-flavoured drinks!
- Soda contains phosphoric acid, which interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to osteoporosis (weak bones). Phosphoric acid also interacts with stomach acid, slowing digestion and blocking nutrient absorption.
- Most sodas contain caffeine, which when consumed in excess could lead to irregular heart beat, high blood pressure, sleep disturbances and other problems.
- All soda whether regular or diet, are very acidic. A typical diet cola has a pH of 3.2. Lets compare that to battery acid which has a pH of 1 and water which has a pH of 7! Surely you are destroying your beautiful set of teeth as the high acidity tends to damage your enamel (the white part of your teeth) predisposing you to tooth decay. Add the high sugar content of regular soda, and you have the perfect recipe for a distastrous smile!
- In diet sodas, aspartame and saccharine are commonly used as substitutes for sugar, and can actually be more harmful. Aspartame has been linked to almost a hundred different health problems including seizures, multiple sclerosis, brain tumours, diabetes, and emotional disorders. It converts to methanol at warm temperatures and methanol breaks down to formaldehyde and formic acid. Saccharine has also been linked with bladder cancer in experimental mice! Though most of these harmful effects are still under research, I would advise you not to risk your health.
While it may be difficult to suddenly shun your favourite soda, you could opt for healthier drinks like iced tea, lemonade, low-fat yoghurt, non-sweetened fruit and vegetable juices and my all time favourite, a chilled glass of water! Like duh, right?!