It is very hard to actually find a party or any sort of social gathering today where a beverage like Cola or the sort is unavailable. It has become a standard among people to drink sodas and aerated drinks as a substitute for water to quench thirst, to revive one’s energy and in general usually consume for the sake of consuming. As an avid drinker of sodas right from about the time I became aware of the world around me, it was difficult for me to face the adverse effects that such drinks have on my health (Guilty though I was!). It was as part of a conscious choice that I made it a point to find out about all the reasons sodas were responsible for deteriorating my health.
Here are a few reasons as to why you should quit having sodas and other aerated drinks today!
10. No Nutritional Value Whatsoever!
Sodas and other aerated drinks table zero on nutritional value. Being prepared from purified water, they leach out minerals from the body. Severe lack of minerals in the body like magnesium can cause heart diseases and lack of calcium causes osteoporosis. Many of the vitamins present in the body cannot function properly in the absence of minerals causing further health issues. Sodas contain artificial additives, acids like phosphoric, tartaric, citric acids and refined sugars which are all detrimental to our health.
9. Kidney Damage
Due to the high acidity of drinks like Cola, there are radical mineral imbalances in the body. The body requiring to buffer the acidic content makes up with calcium from our very own bones. As calcium is removed from our body through urine, it slowly causes kidney stone formation. Studies show that people who consume more than two sodas a day are prone twice as normal to chronic kidney disease.
8. Calcium Depletion
Sodas are extremely acidic. This acidic nature is due to the presence of high levels of Phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid interferes with the body’s process of absorbing Calcium. This in turn leads to softening of bones or brittle bones causing increased instances of bone fractures and osteoporosis (erosion of bone minerals), especially in case of women. As more people consume these aerated drinks instead of calcium rich milk, the chances of these risk factors are multiplied. The phosphoric acid present also erodes the enamel of the teeth causing it to yellow (Ever considered teeth whitening??Better quit sodas!). Regular drinking of soda causes plaque build-up in the teeth. These drinks also make the teeth more susceptible to cavity, decay and gum disease, more so than even sugar candies. High soda consumption in developing kids poses significant risks of impaired calcification in the growing bones.
The quantity of sugar present in a single can of soda is equivalent to ten tablespoons of sugar. This amount of sugar causes extreme fluctuations in the blood sugar levels. Consumption of soda thereby confuses the pancreas into producing abundance of insulin in the body. This leads to what is called a ‘sugar crash’. Additionally, some sodas also contain High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) as primary sugar ingredient, which stresses the pancreas and produces fluctuating blood sugar levels. Chronic elevation and drop in sugar and insulin levels causes the onset of insulin-independent, Type-II Diabetes. The development of Type -II Diabetes becomes extremely problematic when the recipients are kids, who then develop life long health problems. Also increased blood glucose levels also raises the risks of developing cardio-vascular diseases.
6. High Acidity
Sodas and other aerated drinks are inherently acidic. They are acidic to the level that they can erode an aluminium can, if left for long. Autopsies of most Alzheimer’s patients show high levels of Aluminium in the brain. Increased levels of minerals in the body cause a number of neurological diseases and other disorders of the kind. Aerated drinks have a pH value of 2.5 as opposed to our body which functions on a neutral 7.0 pH. That would mean we are consuming something that is hundred of thousand times more acidic than our system! Diseases are more likely to strike in an acidic environment. These drinks lead to deposition of acidic content in the joints and around the organs which lead to swollen and inflamed joints, increasing risks for gout. Gout occurs due to the presence of excess uric acid in the body. Also note, the lesser the pH of the body, the more sicker the person gets.
5. Sugar alternatives
Sodas especially Diet Sodas (Never ever think of making it part of your weight loss regime!) contain Aspartame and Saccharin. Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar which makes one crave for more food and increases your overall consumption. Aspartame has also been linked to depression, insomnia, neurological diseases, seizures, brain tumors, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, emotional disorders and a whole lot other diseases. The sweetener results in high blood pressure, giddiness and increased heart rates. The Ace-K used for soft drinks is actually carcinogenic in nature. Saccharin used in some other drinks like Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke has been proven to cause bladder cancer and is banned in many countries. Diet sodas also increase the chances of metabolic syndrome which causes belly fat, high sugar levels and cholesterol.
4. Disrupts Digestion
The high acidic and sugar levels in sodas literally shut down the digestive system, making it impossible to digest food eaten even hours earlier. The pH of 2.5 has adverse affects in the linings of the mouth, pharynx and oesophagus. The phosphoric acid present in the drinks compete with hydro chloric acid of the stomach disrupting the function of the stomach and rendering it ineffective. This then results in indigestion and bloating. Consumption of aerated drinks also becomes an indicator of heart burns. Regular intake of such drinks causes various gastro-intestinal problems.
3. Caffeine Overdose
Sodas and other aerated drinks usually have an abundance of caffeine. Caffeine acts as a stimulant in the body. High doses of caffeine though results in irritability, restlessness, tension, insomnia, gastrointestinal disturbance, excessive urination and many other side-effects. Caffeine has also been linked to certain cancers, breast lumps, migraines, memory loss, blurred visions, ringing in ears, emotional disorders, palpitations and shortness of breath. Regular intake of drinks which contain caffeine also causes an addiction to the chemical.
2. Weight Gain
The high amounts of sugar present in soft drinks is generally bound to mess up the system. A person who weighs 72 kg must walk for 27 minutes at 5.6 km/hour to burn off the calories present in a single can of soda! Weight gain occurs due to consumption of more calories than one can burn off. And sodas add up to a lot of calories. These calories are called empty calories because they do not have any nutritional value attached to them. The sweet-flavored sodas and aerated drinks also disrupt appetite signals and promote craving for other sugary food items. According to studies, for each serving of soda consumed daily, the risk of obesity increased by 1.6 times in kids.
Many people nowadays ingest sodas instead of water to quench their thirst. Caffeine present in most sodas acts as a diuretic, which increases urination, leaving the body with insufficient water for proper functioning. Also increased amounts of sodium present in certain diet sodas extracts water from the cells encouraging dehydration. The high sugar levels also demand a lot of water from the body. We need 8-12 glasses of water to counteract the effects initiated by a single glass of soda. Constantly denying the body sufficient water leads to Chronic Cellular Dehydration, which weakens the body at cellular level and numbs down the immunity system and causes a flourishing of diseases. Such drinks should never be taken as an alternative to water as it causes more harm than good any day.