If you’ve got a soda habit, you’re not alone. At least half of Americans drink it every day. You probably know that soda contains sugar, which isn’t helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. But beyond this, there are a number of reasons to drink less soda or even cut the soda habit for good.
1. Soda will send you way over your sugar limit
High consumption of sugar causes a number of health problems, including heart problems, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and obesity.
And, it’s easy to get a whopping dose of sugar from a soda habit, even if you don’t drink that much. Just one can contains 39 grams of added sugar — more than the recommended amount for an entire day.
2. Soda will take the place of healthier options
Every time you drink a can of soda, you’re giving up the opportunity to drink a glass of water. And water is essential to good health in addition to being an excellent weight-loss tool.
When you sip, stick with the healthiest and most natural drink — good old H2O — if you want to achieve better health. If you find it difficult to stay hydrated, try these tips for drinking more water.
3. Soda is a waste of calories
The sugar found in soda is high in fructose, which does not make you feel satisfied or full. As a result, you could drink hundreds of calories worth of soda and feel just as hungry as you did before.
In fact, some studies suggest that consuming fructose, like that in soda, can actually make you feel hungrier and increase food cravings. If you’re trying to lose weight, drinking soda will simply make it harder to meet your goal.
4. The sugar in soda could harm the brain
There’s no doubt that Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating. And, consuming high amounts of sugar may increase a person’s risk of getting it. Studies have shown that blood sugar spikes are associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Because soda is loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, it’s going to cause blood sugar spikes, leading to damage of what is arguably the most important organ in the body.
5. All types of soda are bad for your teeth
Soda and diet soda are acidic. Acid breaks down tooth enamel and makes you more likely to get cavities. Acid also causes tooth sensitivity and discoloration.
And obviously, the sugar content only adds to this risk. Bathing the teeth in acid and sugar is a recipe for a number of dental problems.
6. Diet soda contains sweeteners that could harm your kidneys
People who are trying to cut calories and sugar may turn to diet soda. Unfortunately, this choice may not be any better for you. One study found that women who consumed more than two servings per day of diet soda head a two-fold increase in kidney function decline.
7. Artificial sweeteners carry some of the same health risks as sugar
There’s even more evidence that diet soda isn’t a good substitute for regular soda. A study warns that artificially sweetened beverages may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome — just like sugar-sweetened beverages can.
8. The caramel color in soda could lead to cancer and other health problems
Caramel coloring used in many sodas is a possible carcinogen. In fact, two of the chemicals in the caramel color are known to cause cancer in animals. This caramel coloring may also contribute to insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes.
9. Soda contains phosphoric acid, which could harm the bones and kidneys
Studies found that the phosphoric acid in cola drinks would bind calcium in the stomach, keeping it from reaching the bones. This decreases bone mineral density and contributes to osteoporosis. These negative effects could damage the teeth as well.
In addition, phosphoric acid is implicated in kidney stone formation, even when compared to drinks that contain citric acid.
10. Drinking soda can interfere with sleep
Unless you limit your soda consumption to the morning hours only, the caffeine in sodas could keep you awake at night or compromise the quality of your sleep. And since regular, quality sleep is absolutely essential to good health and will even help you lose weight, it’s important that you make proper sleep a priority.
You can cut back!
All of this information about soda could be overwhelming and alarming for those who drink it regularly. But don’t let it discourage you from your health goals.
Cutting out soda completely may be difficult for those who are used to a few sodas a day. But, you can take steps in the right direction. Start cutting out one soda a day for about a week. The following week, cut out two sodas, and so on.
This gradual approach may be easier to adopt than a cold turkey plan. Of course, to help you along the way, find healthy alternatives to soda and ways to trick yourself into drinking more water. Hydration is vitally important to weight loss and general health, so for every soda you cut out, be sure you’re replacing it with one or more glasses of water or unsweetened tea.
If you really need your soda fix, purchase carbonated water and add fresh fruit to your glass. You can also get a fruit infuser to accomplish this.
Hard-core soda lovers may find it difficult at first to drink fruit-infused water, as it is noticeably less sweet. If this is you, try adding a small amount of a healthy sugar substitute to your fruit-infused sparkling water. This “homemade” soda won’t carry the health risks listed above — and you’ll even get some vitamins and nutrients from the fresh fruit. Whenever possible, however, drink plain water too.
A healthier you is possible — and we are here to help. Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers offers personalized plans designed to help you achieve your wellness goals! Contact us to schedule your no-cost consultation today!