The soda revolution is on! Soda advertisements are everywhere, from newspaper ads and billboards to television ads. This makes us want to drink soda every now and then to make us feel refreshed every day.
But before you reach out for that second can of soda, you should take in mind some health risks that can be obtained from drinking soda. This can change your mind regarding drinking another bottle of soda again.
The Truth About Soda
Soda or soft drinks have become popular nowadays, but little of us know what this drink actually contains. Soda is made up of water with colouring agents, sweeteners and flavouring agents. The sweeteners may come in the form of sugar, fruit juice, high fructose corn syrup, sugar substitutes or a combination of these. Soda may also contain caffeine and preservatives. All these ingredients are mixed with water which has been carbonated using a soda siphon or a carbonation system or by the process of dropping dry ice into water. The ingredients along with the carbonation process bring soda its pleasant taste.
But before you grab another bottle of soda, think about this: many experts have known that the consumption of soda can bring about various negative health effects. Soft drinks sweetened with sugar can bring about the development of type 2 diabetes, obesity, dental caries, and even malnutrition. Soft drinks containing caffeine may bring about anxiety, insomnia and hormonal imbalances. Other harmful additives include sodium benzoate, a substance which has been investigated by researchers as a possible cause of DNA damage and being hyperactive, especially among children.
Obesity can certainly result from too much intake of sweet beverages such as soft drinks. One study has found out that school age children who drank soft drinks every day increased their body mass index or BMI within a span of one year. In another study, intake of soda daily in women brought about weight gain; the number of soft drinks taken per day is directly proportional to increase in weight gain. An increased BMI is a characteristic of overweight and obesity, and this can bring about complicated medical problems such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other dangerous illnesses.
Consuming a lot of soft drinks can also lead to progressive dental decay. Soda contains a variety of simple carbohydrates such as glucose, sucrose, fructose and other simple sugars. When left in the mouth these sugars are fermented by bacteria, a process which produces excess acid in the mouth that dissolves tooth enamel and leads to tooth decay. The risk of getting tooth decay is directly proportional to the amount of soft drinks consumed. The fermentation plus the fact that some soft drinks are acidic by nature can make tooth decay more possible.
Drinking soda can also lead to low potassium levels, bone density, and bone loss. Bone loss may be due to the fact that soft drinks contain phosphoric acid which lowers bone mineral density, further leading to weak bones or osteoporosis. It has also been hypothesized that soft drinks can block calcium absorption in the body.
Soda and Cancers
Recently, there are reports which say that many soda beverages contain high levels of a caramel coloring agent known as 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI). The substance 4-MEI is said to be a health risk and potential carcinogen. In a study which involved rats and mice, 4-MEI was said to induce leukemia and lung tumors. This led the researchers to conclude that repeated consumption of soda beverages with 4-MEI may produce cancers as that was found in mice and rats which had consumed the substance. More studies should be done as to whether other substances than 4-MEI could bring about other health risks.
Now that you know something about the health risks of drinking soda, maybe you can start weaning off from soda now. To start living healthy, know more on how to change your lifestyle by reading our other articles on this site.