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Sugary soft drinks (or Soda) – it’s everywhere! Even if you wanted to drink something else, you’d be hard-pressed to find it as prominently displayed at fast-food chains, in vending machines, and supermarket checkouts. You might not realize how ubiquitous Coke, Pepsi, and the like are in our society until you try to stop drinking soft drinks.

Harmful Effects of Soft Drinks (Soda)

Year after year, soft drinks have been popularized by persuasive and aggressive advertising campaign run by beverage companies. The sweet taste of these fizzy drinks is so tempting that they have become one of the largest single sources of calories in the diet. Youngsters are getting too addicted to sodas, they may not say complete no to them but they have to keep its consumption to bare minimum. Addiction to any thing is too bad, even if it is to sodas. They have so many adverse effects on health like:

  • Weight Gain & Obesity: Drinking a single 330 ml can a day of sugary drinks translates to more than 1 pound (0.45 kg) of weight gain every month. The relationship between soft drink consumption and body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional sugar-sweetened soft drink consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times. According to researchers, the likely reason for weight gain in people who consume calories in sugar-sweetened beverages is failing to adequately reduce their intake of calories from other sources.
  • Sodas affect Kidneys: A three year study of over 1,000 men with a history of kidney stones showed that there was a clear-cut difference in the group’s experiences, with much less renal colic in the men who had avoided soft drinks. Soft drinks acidified with phosphoric acid were the worst offenders. Colas of all kinds, of course, are well known for their high phosphoric acid content.
  • Dental Decay: A large number of soft drinks are acidic and some may have a pH of 3 or even lower. The acidity can dissolve the mineral content of the enamel, making the teeth weaker, more sensitive, and more susceptible to decay. Drinking acidic drinks over a long period of time and continuous sipping can therefore erode the tooth enamel. Drinking through a straw is often advised by dentists as the drink is then swallowed from the back of the mouth and does not come into contact with the teeth as much. Also, it is suggested that brushing teeth right after drinking soft drinks should be avoided as this can result in additional erosion to the teeth due to the presence of acid.
  • Sodas affect Liver: According to a new Israeli medical study, drinking soft drinks can cause damage to your liver. Scientists from Israel found that people who drank a litre of fizzy drinks were five times more likely to develop fatty liver disease. Even drinking a couple of cans of fizzy drinks a day raised the risk of liver damage in addition to causing diabetes and heart damage.
  • Can lead to Alzheimer: Soft drinks are extremely acidic, so much so that they can eat through the liner of an aluminum can and leach aluminum from the can if it sits on the shelf too long. Alzheimer patients who have been autopsied, all have high levels of aluminum in their brains. Heavy metals in the body can lead to many neurological and other diseases.
  • Cause Sugar Crash: The high amounts of sugar in soft drinks cause your pancreas to produce an abundance of insulin, which leads to a “sugar crash”. The “sugar crash” is evidenced by lethargy, loss of interest in work tasks and even sleepiness. Chronic elevation and depletion of sugar and insulin can lead to diabetes and other imbalance related diseases. This is particularly disruptive to growing children which can lead to life-long health problems.
  • Drops Potassium level in blood: It was found that people who drank 2 to 9 liters of cola a day experienced severe fatigue, appetite loss and also persistent vomiting at times. This is mainly due to a condition known as hypokalemia where there is a drop in the level of potassium in the blood.
  • Weakened Bones and Risk of Osteoporosis: Frequent consumption of soft drinks may also increase the risk of osteoporosis, especially in people who drink soft drinks instead of calcium-rich milk. High soda consumption in children poses a significant risk factor for impaired calcification of growing bones. There is a statistically significant inverse relationship between consumption of carbonated beverages and bone mineral density in young girls, which places them at increased risk of suffering fractures in the future.
  • No Nutritional Value: Unless fortified, soft drinks contain little to no vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, or other essential nutrients. Soft drinks may also displace other healthier choices in people’s diets, such as water, milk, and fruit juice.
  • Increased Blood Pressure: Experts have reasons to believe that over consumption of fructose (a form of sugar found in sweetened soft drinks) leads to an increase in blood pressure.
  • Increases Dehydration: Most soft drinks are diuretics, meaning they squeeze liquids out of the body, thus worsening dehydration instead of correcting it. A considerable amount of water is required just to process the high levels of sugar in soft drinks. To replace what is stolen, you need to drink 8-12 glasses of water for every soft drink that you consume.

Switching from regular soft drink to diet soft drink, thinking it saves on calories and sugar and can still give you the caffeine boost and beverage variety you’re looking for might not help. Some recent studies say that diet drinks might not be much better for your health. Diet soft drinks contain Aspartame, which has been linked to depression, insomnia, neurological disease and a plethora of other illnesses.

This series has been sponsored by Depilex F-8 Islamabad, join their social media:

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