If you’ve ever picked up a health magazine or had a chat about nutrition with your doctor, you’ll know that soda is inherently bad for you. It’s void of virtually any nutritional value and can be extremely high in calories.
Unfortunately, this isn’t all. There are many additional soda health risks that could negatively affect your health. Here are 7 side effects of soda worth knowing about:
1. It Can Increase Your Diabetes Risk
The high sugar content of sodas can easily increase your blood sugar levels, which can in turn increase your chances of suffering from type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has become somewhat of an epidemic in the U.S. but your chances of getting this illness can easily be reduced by maintaining a healthy diet and cutting soda out of your diet.
2. Even Diet Soda Can Cause Weight Gain
If you’ve been drinking diet soda thinking that it’ll keep the pounds at bay, think again, as evidence suggests that side effects of diet soda can even include weight gain. A study by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center found that those who drank diet soda had a much greater chance of gaining weight than those that didn’t drink it. Although diet soda most likely won’t lead to as a rapid gain as frequently drinking regular soda will, it’s still far from being completely guilt free.
3. Soda Could Contain Cancer Causing Chemicals
Evidence has suggested that the artificial caramel coloring used to color popular sodas such as Coke and Pepsi can cause cancer. This is because two contaminants present in the coloring, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole have been found to cause cancer. This could be one of the most harmful effects of soft drinks. Per each 20-ounce bottle of coke (both regular and diet) 200 micrograms of 4-methylimidazole is present. As a result, it’s probably best to cut out soda all together if you want to avoid this potential cancer causer.
4. Soda Can Promote Premature Aging
The high levels of phosphates found in many popular sodas could encourage premature aging. Too much phosphates (also known as phosphoric acid) in a daily diet can lead to multiple typically age related problems which include muscle loss, osteoporosis and heart and kidney problems. Although phosphates are present in many common foods, the content is usually especially high in sodas, making this another potentially dangerous effect of soda on the body.
5. It Can Lead to Caffeine Addiction
Addiction isn’t just reserved for street drugs and alcohol; you can also become addicted to caffeine, and the high caffeine content present in many popular sodas can encourage this. Caffeine addiction is a dependency on caffeine, often from drinking too much coffee or soda. Common symptoms of caffeine addiction can include excessive shaking, irritability, high stress levels and an increased heart beat. If you have an addictive personality, you’ll definitely want to limit your soda intake or ideally cut it out from your diet all together.
6. Aluminum Has Been Linked to Alzheimer’s
The cans used to contain many sodas are made from aluminum, which has been linked to developing Alzheimer’s disease. This means that if you regularly drink soda from a can, you could be increasing your chances of developing this disease. If you must insist on drinking soda try to drink from the plastic bottles over cans but of course the best solution for your health is to not drink soda at all.
7. Diet Soda Has Been Linked to Poor Kidney Health
A Harvard Medical School study linked regular diet soda drinking in women to an increased chance of suffering from poor kidney health. The 11-year-long study studied 3,000 women and the researchers found that regular diet soda drinking was associated with a two-fold increased risk in kidney decline. The study found that women who drank more than two diet sodas a day were at most risk, and interestingly those that drank full sugar (non diet) sodas were not associated with kidney decline.
Keep your mind and body healthy by either dramatically decreasing your soda intake or taking the brave but worthwhile step of eliminating soda from your diet all together. The harmful effects of soft drinks can be prevented. Good luck!