It’s not a secret that soda isn’t good for you but it’s much worse than most people think it is. Soda does not have any nutritional value but can even adversely affect your health. Soda should be treated as an occasional indulgence rather than a staple of our diets. If you were to eliminate the consumption of soda from your normal diet you can expect to experience a wide range of benefits including fewer headaches, more energy, and stable blood sugar levels.
It’s much easier to say this stuff than to actually do it. I used to drink a soda with every non-breakfast meal and it felt like I couldn’t change my diet to better my health but after researching the effects of soda, I decided to give myself a 30 day “No Soda Challenge”. By the end of the 30 days, not only did I feel better but I had a lot more energy and rarely felt sluggish. I continued this No Soda Challenge and eventually it just became my normal diet.
I’m not suggesting that you should never drink a soda ever again, but rather I’m suggesting that you treat it the way it should be in terms of healthy living, as an occasional indulgence. I will consume a soda every now and then but it’s not a part of my normal diet. During the course of the 30 days challenge, I’m not sure how much weight I lost but I suspect around 5-10lbs. If that isn’t motivating enough, since removing soda from my normal diet, I’ve been able to lose a total 40lbs.
Why is it that soda is more popular than natural drinks like tea, juice or water? Take a look at the disproportionate rates at which soda is being consumed in the US, Americans Drink More Soda Than Anyone Else from Slate.com. There are a plethora of studies to prove the effects of soda on the body yet the average American drinks about 56 gallons of these soft drinks every year. Soda in moderation is fine but the amount we consume at the moment is no where near moderate.
Research has liked soda to osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay, kidney problems and heart attacks. While they seem harmless and perhaps even refreshing, a soda contains a lot of ingredients that can be damaging to your health. The following ingredients is a list of a few that can have adverse affects . . .
Phosphoric Acid increases phosphorus levels in the blood which causes your body to take calcium and other important minerals from your bones to account for the imbalance. Phosphoric acid also can lead to digestive upset due to its ability to neutralize stomach acid. Phosphoric acid can begin to dissolve tooth enamel in as little as 20 minutes.
Each 12 oz can of soda contains between 9-12 teaspoons of sugar that immediately increases insulin levels which may result in higher blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, premature aging and much more. In moderation consumption of sugar is just fine but the western diet (aka American Diet) is heavily dependent on sugar or artificial sweeteners which usually results in excess consumption of sugar/sweeteners.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener with a structure that makes this chemical compound 200 times more sweet than sugar. When it is stored for long periods of time, it converts into methanol, (an alcohol that converts into formaldehyde and formic acid) and ultimately carcinogens.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration reported that Benzene levels exceeded acceptable standards in many soft drinks sold in the U.S. What is benzene? It’s a result of a chemical reaction that occurs between the ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate found in sodas.
Caffeine is another example of “fine in moderation” but excess consumption of caffeine is known to cause jitters, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood cholesterol levels, and nutrient depletion.
As I stated earlier, Soda in essence is not dangerous but due to the ingredients, it is certainly not good for you. If consumed at high rates, it could have adverse affects to your health but if consumed in moderation, Soda is effectively harmless. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who have a western diet consume many levels higher than what would be classified as a moderate amount of soda.
How much soda a day, week, month, year do you drink? Would you call it moderation? If your answer the second question is “no” then perhaps you might also want to try the 30 day “No Soda Challenge”. If you’re interested in trying this challenge leave us a comment on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and we can do it together.
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