Soft drink, the silent killer: Soda, or popularly referred to as soft drinks manufacturing, has become a multi-billion dollar industry, with people worldwide enjoying drinking it. One can’t resist when someone offers you a Coke.
As per a recent study, Soda drinker in France drinks an average of 207 liters Coca Cola per year while an American, on average, drinks 995 liters and a Mexican 1059 liters. Many individuals prefer it more than having milk and fruit juice as it’s pretty inexpensive in their comparison.
Coca-Cola Company, renowned amongst soda drinkers and the global market leader in Sugar-sweetened beverage manufacturing, sells close to 1.9 billion soda drinks per day in Coca-Cola, i.e., more than 200 counties! Twelve thousand six hundred people purchase a Coca-Cola product every second.
Coca-Cola is the world’s largest Soda making company. With more than 500 sparkling and still brands and close to 3900 beverage choices. They have the world’s most extensive beverage distribution system. Atlanta Company is having a world of Coca Cola, where visitors can get the opportunity to sample over 100 Coca Cola products from around the world. When in the world of Coca-Cola, one can witness its closely guarded vault of the secret formula.
The recipe for making these sodas varies from Brand to Brand. However, there are certain common ingredients that every mixer includes: Carbonated water, sweeteners, added sugar, Acids (citric, malic, phosphoric, etc.), color (carotenoids, anthocyanins, and caramels), Artificial flavor, preservatives, caffeine.
To quench your thirst for having soda does not necessarily cause a higher risk. However, if you are in the habit of chugging one or two sodas per day, the chicken will probably come home to roost because of the long-term effects of drinking too much soda.
Suppose you are a fan of Coca-Cola, aka Coke. Here is the list of some problems one may face due to the long term effects of drinking too much soda:
- Vitamin Deficiency: Considered safe when the carbonated drinks were invented, subsequent laboratory experiments show that they contain phosphoric acid that can exacerbate dental erosion. It also raises the case of kidney stones. It also increases the risk of weakening bones, osteoporosis, as well as hypertension.
According to U.S. Researchers, if someone consumes two glasses of Coca-Cola, their chances of kidney failure are multiplied by 2.
- Obesity: Over the years, obesity in youngsters has risen due to the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. As per a recent study, 1 in 4 Americans has 200 calories per day from soda. It’s astonishing that children ages 5 to 12 drink at least one soda or energy drink per day. A 20 ounce(20*30=600ml) bottle of coca-cola contains about 17 teaspoons of sugar. In addition to this, the Intake of sugary beverages is strongly allied with the fat around the abdominal area.
There is also widespread disbelief among people that consuming Diet Coke or Coke zero will not result in weight gain; then, this is a big misconception. Studies proved that sugar-free soda contains sugar substitutes like aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin, acesulfame-k, or sucralose.
These Diet versions were first made known to the market in 1950 for individuals with diabetes. However, later the same was marketed to people trying to reduce weight gains or sugar consumption.
- Dental Decay: Daily intake of these sweetened or sugar-free beverages increases the risk of causing cavities due to the high sugar and fructose syrup content. Also, this makes teeth vulnerable to enamel erosion due to their highly acidic nature. Sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which attacks the teeth. Both types of soda can erode your teeth as well. Even if one does regular brushing and flossing of teeth, you are still in danger of this problem. Make sure to visit your dentist frequently and reduce your Intake of these sugary beverages.
- Caffeine Addiction: Caffeine is highly addictive, whether taken with tea, coffee, chocolate, or soda. A can of Coca-Cola contains about 46 mg of caffeine. Although many youngsters gulp down the coke for the energy they feel from caffeine. Due to the spike, our blood pressure rises and cause wooziness, heart problem, vision problem, and much more.
- Chronic Disease: According to research done By U.S. Cardiologist, the Intake of these carbonated sodas is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome, increased waist size, impaired sugar levels, high blood pressure, and higher cholesterol levels a higher risk of a heart attack. Also, it leads to the development of chronic cardiovascular disease.
- Increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Regular consumption also leads to a higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes, which means that individual blood glucose and blood sugar levels are too high. Also, it means that your body is not capable of make and uses insulin well. And thus, too much glucose stays in your blood without insulin. In a layman’s language, it is elevated blood sugar due to insulin deficiency. The scientist also proves that being obese is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
If you think that substituting a regular coke with coke zero, you are in the wrong way.
A recent study in 180 countries states that every 150 calories of sugar intake per day by individual increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 1.2 %. So if we compare it with the total population of the United States, this would be 3.6 million people.
- Cancer: Your chugging down these Coke Cans can be a risk factor as it contains benzene, a chemical known to cause Cancer. It is formed when ascorbic acid comes in contact with benzoic acid and metals like iron or copper.
Therefore, the FDA’s strict recommendation (Food and Drug Administration) states that one should not intake more than one coca-cola can a week.
- Reduce Sperm Count: Consuming these carbonated sugary beverages can also impact your intimate performance. A study suggests that if you are consuming one can a day. Consumption of these sugary beverages hamper fertility and reduce sperm count by 30%, resulting in erectile dysfunction. The average sperm count of a soda drinker was 35 million per milliliter, and the one who drinks it less often was 56 million per milliliter. Research also proved that sweetener in these sugary beverages damages arteries in the penis, which prevents blood from flowing through it, and hence one cannot get a proper erection.
- No Nutritional Benefits: Drinks like Coca-Cola and other soft drinks have no essential nutrients – no vitamins, no minerals or fiber, and only refined sugar, artificial flavor, etc. Soft drinks add nothing to your diet except added sugar and unnecessary calories.
- Causes Leptin Resistance: leptin is a hormone produced by body fats cells. It controls the number of calories you eat and burn. Its level changes in response to both obesity and starvation. The resistance of this hormone in the human body can impact body resistance to fat and leads to weight gain.
- Higher Risk to Dementia: It’s a term associated with a decline in brain function. The most common form is Alzheimer’s disease. Research shows that any incremental increase in blood sugar is strongly related to an increased risk of dementia. The high amount of Intake of these soft drinks can lead to impair memory and decision-making capabilities.
- Risk Factor for Premature death: Regular Intake also leads to a higher risk of premature death due to cardiovascular disease. Comparing these with infrequent drinkers, those who drank two or more servings per day had a 35 % higher risk of untimely death.
Now that we have discussed the causes of drinking too much soft drink may impact your life in the long term. One can quickly figure out that it’s a risk factor, and hence we should replace it. Consider limiting your Intake to prevent the risk of having a chronic disease such as heart disease or metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes. But if you are a frequent soda drinker, then it is easier said than done.
There are numerous ways to shed off this habit of drinking soda and try other substitutes.
- Have some sparkling water to have a similar feel to that of a soft drink.
- Flavor your regular water with cucumber, kiwi, or berries.
- Try detox water.
- Enjoy a cup of Espresso, cappuccino, café doppio, café frappe.
- Go for Gourmet Teas like Silver Needle, Apple Strudel, Rooibos Tiramisu, etc.
- Drink chamomile, valerian, or lemon balm tea.
- Try Unsweetened Iced Tea and Fruit Infused Iced Tea.
- Add fruit juices to sparkling water or seltzer.
- Try fresh fruit juices or drink coconut water.
It’s a famous saying that old habits die hard, or quitting a habit is never easy. But as the experts recommend kicking off this addiction of chugging these sweetened drinks out of your diet, one can have a profound effect on life.