We all know that drinking soda isn’t good for us. We know that it would be better for our health if instead we drank [insert pretty much any other beverage choice here — even beer!]. Soda is an addiction — similar to tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, it feels good when you consume it, but it can wreak havoc on your body long-term. As more and more research investigates the ill effects of soda on the human body (and the environment), it may be time for you to give it up, or at least reduce the amount you intake on a daily or weekly basis.
The evidence speaks for itself: Your health will drastically improve once you begin replacing your daily Coke or Mountain Dew with water.
7 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda
It may lead to heart disease
According to a study published by the American Heart Association, “Drinking as little as one can of soda a day — regular or diet — is associated with a 48% increased risk of metabolic syndrome, a key predecessor of heart disease and diabetes.”(i)
Drinking cola can increase your risk of kidney stones
A study published in Epidemiology found that “Drinking 2 or more colas per day was associated with increased risk of chronic kidney disease.”(ii)
Your soda likely either contains aspartame or high fructose corn syrup
If you drink diet soda, your pop has some sort of artificial sweetener. If you drink full-calorie soda, chances are it has high fructose corn syrup. There are long debates about these ingredients and studies are not entirely conclusive, but both ingredients are artificial and are likely not good for you.
Many people reach for a Diet Coke or a soft drink in the drowsy after-lunch hours at work, hoping to get a caffeine and sugar boost. It may help you focus temporarily, but in the long-term drinking a lot of soda can have a negative effect on your brain function and thinking processes. One study found that long-term consumption of sugar could lead to impaired learning, memory, and behavioral plasticity.(iii)
It may lead to diabetes
As the obesity epidemic continues to surge in the U.S., Americans will continue to stubbornly order McDonald’s and their giant Coca-Colas, then proceed to sit on their couch for hours and watch TV — or sit in their office for hours. All of these factors lead to obesity, an increased risk of diabetes, and a higher chance of developing other chronic disorders like cancer or heart disease. Long-term consumption of large, sugary, fatty sodas will ultimately contribute to, and directly cause, diabetes. Lose the soda and lose the pounds.
Soda destroys your teeth
In case your dentist hadn’t told you, between the sugar and the acidity, pop is terrible for your teeth. In the study, researchers found that a woman who drank 2 liters of diet soda every day for three to five years had the same level of severe tooth erosion as that of a methamphetamine addict, as well as a crack cocaine addict. The citric acid in soda erodes tooth enamel, making it softer and more vulnerable to cavities and yellowing. Stepping away from soda and replacing it with water will protect and clean your teeth.(iv)
It contains an ingredient banned in over 100 countries
About 10% of soda flavors contain BVO, or brominated vegetable oil, which is banned by the World Health organization and 100 countries.