It's easy to understand why carbonated drinks are popular. They taste great, they're quick and easy to grab, and they give you a little jolt of energy. With brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi dominating the beverage markets in seemingly every country across the world, it seems inevitably true that soda is here to stay, for better or for worse.
That said, just because something is popular does not necessarily mean that it's good for you. We have all heard of the countless studies proving the negative health impacts of sugary sodas, but few are aware that even diet drinks, when aerated, can contain some seriously questionable ingredients.
Read on to learn about the hidden reasons that bubbly beverages can be detrimental to your health. Soda lovers beware -- some of these facts may have you seriously reconsidering saying yes to that next drink.
1. Weakened Kidneys
A Harvard Medical School study regarding the long-term impacts of soda consumption revealed some shocking results recently. According to data based on the input of over 3,000 women, soda drinkers could expect to see their kidney health decline twice as fast.
As many know, soda can contain a lot of caffeine. Caffeine can act as a diuretic, which causes dehydration by provoking urination much more frequently than is necessary without providing any essential re-hydrating fluid. This makes it harder for the body to absorb essential nutrients.
When you consume a sugary drink, your pancreas is forced to quickly produce enough insulin to balance out your blood sugar. Over time, doing this too much can increase your insulin resistance, leading you to an increased risk of developing diabetes.
4. Caramel Coloring
As odd as it may sound, when it comes to the health impacts of soda, color matters. The caramel hue of many popular drinks comes as a result of complex process which involves chemicals that have shown to increase cancer risks in lab rats.
5. Childhood Obesity
Studies have shown that daily consumption of fizzy beverages can increase a kid's risk of becoming obese by a whopping 60%. With childhood obesity comes a slew of other potential health risks, many of which often last into adulthood.
6. Tooth Damage
With all of the questionable chemical combinations coming into play here, it's no wonder that human teeth weren't made to handle repeated exposure to soda. Research has shown that soda's pH balance is low enough that it can cause irreversible enamel erosion.
7. Declining Metabolism
According to groundbreaking research conducted at the Bangor University, drinking just one sugary beverage per day can dramatically slow the metabolism, making it significantly more challenging to burn fat and shed pounds. This additional weight gain could lead to even more health problems.
8. Artificial Sweeteners
Bad news for diet soda loyalists: sugar-free drinks can be just as bad. According to studies, aspartame (the sweetener used in diet sodas) has been linked to an increased risk of a variety of serious diseases, including cancer and depression.
9. Expanding Waistline
In one particularly shocking study, scientists found that those who drank two or more diet sodas per day eventually found their waistlines increasing 500% more than those who opted to go entirely fizziness-free. Looks like those hoping to stay svelte better skip sodas entirely.
10. Heart Disease
It seems that every day we are told about a new factor contributing to our risk of heart disease. As it happens, soda consumption may be a significant one; one study found that drinking just one soda per day increased participants' risk of contracting heart disease by 20%.
11. Reproductive Issues
In this case, it is actually the container causing trouble rather than the soda itself. Soda cans are lined with BPA, an endocrine disruptor that has been linked to everything from heart attacks to weight gain to poor reproductive health.
Believe it or not, soda consumption can even impact your ability to breathe. A South Australian study of over 16,000 participants revealed that regularly cracking open a cold beverage can dramatically increase your risk of developing asthma and COPD.