Of course you never thought soda was good for you, but maybe you told yourself it’s really “okay” because you drink diet soda or sugar free varieties. Here are some great reasons to give it up and live healthier for it!
1. Weight Gain:
While many people think sodas cause weight gain only if they are full of sugar, in reality even diet soda (no calorie soda) has been shown to cause weight gain. We are uncertain exactly why this is, but it likely is because the additives in diet soda stimulate the GI tract and your hunger.
You knew no list could be complete without this one. Even if weight and calories are not your concern, sugar itself has been shown to contribute to heart disease and elevated triglycerides among other things. Large amounts of added sugar have in fact been shown to increase risk of death from heart disease. Those with diabetes or its precursor should limit sugar. Needless to say, most sodas are chocked full of sugar.
3. Artificial Sweeteners:
Artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas include sucralose, saccharine and aspartame. All of these sweeteners have been studied with laboratory animals and all have been linked to negative effects. Some of the studies have linked diet soda sweeteners to cancer while other studies show potential neurologic consequences of artificial sweeteners. While there is no definitive human data (because who wants to do THAT study?), why subject yourself to risk when it is unnecessary?
4. Effects on Bone Density:
Studies have shown that even if people who drink soda take in a similar amount of calcium and Vitamin D from other sources, they have lower bone density than those who do not drink soda. Many speculate that the phosphoric acid, primarily found in colas, somehow interferes with calcium absorption or contributes to bone loss. Therefore, if you do drink soda, you may have to work extra hard to build strong bones via additional calcium, Vitamin D intake and weight bearing exercise.
Even if you spend a few dollars a day on soda, that can add up to $1,000 per year! Quit your habit and put the money you would have spent on soda in a jar. At the end of a few months, treat yourself to something special.
Many sodas are high in sodium. Dietary consumption of sodium can cause high blood pressure, among other things. We do need sodium at some times more than others (i.e., with exercise and sweating) but we think it’s better to get your sodium from other sources.
Soda can be a significant source of caffeine. People often do not realize that the beverage they had in the early afternoon with lunch can be what is causing them to wake up at 2:00 a.m. or contributing to those palpitations they experience at different times. Caffeine also may cause inadequate hydration since it tends to make humans lose fluids. Therefore, hydrating with a caffeinated beverage can be counterproductive.
8. Save your Teeth:
Not only do colored sodas (such as cola, orange soda, root beer) stain and tarnish your pearly whites, but the acid in them causes erosion of the enamel. Even beyond the cavity causing effects of sugar, sugar free sodas also may cause significant dental damage.
9. Replace it with something better:
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to stop drinking soda is that you could be drinking other, better things. Something even as simple as water is a far better substitute! Many people tout the benefits of water with lemon. Certainly milk can be a great alternative given its supply of calcium (although even milk has its issues – more on that later). Likewise many juices in moderation have essential nutrients (Vitamin A, C and some are fortified with calcium and Vitamin D).
Romy Block specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and is mother to three active adolescent boys. Arielle Levitan is a Doctor of Internal Medicine with a special interest in Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health. She is a mother of three teen agers. As professional women with active family lives, they recognize that people often neglect their own health needs and are uncertain about what vitamins to take. Each person is different in her diet, exercise and health history, and will benefit from different nutrients. After years of advising their patients about the proper vitamins to take, Drs. Block and Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins that are suited to their individual needs. They are authors of the award winning The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health (She Writes Press, 2015). Take your vitamin survey now to get exactly the right vitamins for your needs.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Nothing contained herein is intended to be a diagnosis or constitute medical advice. The symptoms described in this Blog may be a result of a serious medical condition which requires medical treatment. You should consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this Blog and before beginning any vitamin or supplement regimen.