Soda has become the All-American drink. Soda drinking has increased substantially over the past 30 years in adults and children, and now accounts for 25% of all drinks consumed in the U.S. But that 12 ounce “soft drink” is really hard on the body. Until a year ago, I regularly drank soda like most people. But when I started to learn about what soda was actually doing to my health, I canned the habit for good. So I want to make sure that you know that soda is no “soft drink.” Here are 4 ways that soda wreaks havoc on your body:
Soda is full of sugar: An average 12 oz soda contains 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup. By now, most people know that sugar is a major culprit in weight gain. But here’s a lesser known fact: the amount high fructose corn syrup in a single can of soda can raise the oxidative stress levels in your body for up to four hours! Oxidative stress is a process in the body that causes damage to the cells and DNA.
Soda acidifies your body: Space does not permit me to discuss the critical relationship between your body’s pH and your health. But in summary, your body requires a slightly alkaline pH to perform optimally. When the body’s pH drops merely from the optimal 7.4 down to 7.2, you are extremely sick. Well, the pH of soda ranges between 2.3 to 4, which is highly acidic. Introducing such an acidic liquid into your body makes it work hard to eliminate the acid and retain its alkaline state. Disease thrives in acidic environments! So, can the soda habit, and instead, drink water (pure, alkaline water is ideal) to keep your body disease-resistant.
Soda is bad for your bones: And not just old bones, but even adolescents experience weakened bones from soda consumption. The cause may be a direct effect of leaching calcium from the bones because of excess phosphoric acid in soda. On the other hand, the cause may be a low calcium diet in soda drinkers. Whatever the case, is that Pepsi or Sprite really worth an increased risk of a broken hip?
Diet soda is equally bad: You may be thinking that you’re doing your body a favor by drinking diet soda. “At least,” you may reason, “I’m not taking in all those calories and sugar!” Aside from the fact that artificial sugars are toxic chemicals (e.g. aspartame is associated with fibromyalgia, seizures and panic attacks, reduced memory and cognition), new research shows that artificial sugar increases your craving for sugar, and is associated with increased weight gain in the long term.
Soda is one of the many non-foods that we regularly consume that toxifies our bodies. Instead, we need to start building up our bodies with whole foods and whole food nutrients that strengthen our systems for optimal performance.
Logan, A. The Brain Diet. (2006). Nashville, TN, Cumberland House Publishing.