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Soda, be it alcoholic, nonalcoholic, flavored, or nonflavored, is usually a sweetened carbonated drink. People have grown their love for soda over time and prefer to have it instead of water to refresh themselves. Some even drink it in an odd attempt to quench their thirst.
What you might not know is initially, this drink was made for medicinal purposes, but the sweet taste and fizz got to people, and since then, it has become everyone’s favorite go-to beverage. It is now a global sensation with billions of dollars worth of yearly sales.
With so many options in the soda aisle, everyone has something to drink, and the carbonated beverage market is definitely very crowded. However, the bad news is not everyone is aware of the harmful effects these drinks have on the body.
Researchers have presented studies that showcase the various hazards of drinking sodas. From promoting obesity to causing a hormonal and chemical imbalance in the body, sodas are not a good beverage to consume. (1)
Benefits of Quitting Soda
Here are the benefits your body will experience when you quit drinking soda.
1. Reduces dehydration
Sipping on a cool soda of your favorite flavor after a good workout or a summertime walk or just when you feel thirsty seems like a normal thing to do. But the truth is that sodas usually contain ingredients that don’t really provide hydration, such as artificial sweeteners, lots of sugar, and, sometimes, even caffeine.
Replacing water with soda to quench your thirst is not a good idea. Research shows that drinking sweetened beverages only increases the dehydration markers in the blood. This also damages your kidneys and deteriorates your overall health, as observed in animal models. (2) Thus, trying to rehydrate with sweetened or soft drinks only worsens dehydration and exacerbates renal damage.
Quitting soft drinks and sodas will promote kidney health and keep your hydration levels high. It will also lower your risk of suffering from associated diseases such as kidney stones and chronic kidney disease.
Caffeine is also a culprit here that plays a big role in increasing dehydration. Caffeine prevents your body from absorbing fluids.
If you drink caffeinated fluids, your body won’t feel as hydrated as when you consume a non-caffeinated drink. A 2002 study suggested that caffeine consumption caused excessive urination and thus can cause electrolyte imbalance if taken in excessive amounts. (3)
2. Promotes healthy teeth
The high sugar content of sodas causes poor oral health. Sugar promotes bacterial growth and increases acidity in the oral cavity. These effects can lead to increased caries and cavity formation with tooth decay. (4)
The mouth is home to many different bacterial species that feed on sugar. Sweetened beverages encourage their growth, and they multiply rapidly to form plaque. When plaque adheres to teeth, the acid produced by the bacterial colony tears down tooth enamel, causing cavities.
This occurs after consumption of sugary drinks, including handmade drinks (specifically bubble tea and pearl milk tea) and carbonated drinks, according to a 1-year follow-up study among Taiwanese school children aged 8–9 years. (5)
A 2018 study also suggested that regular consumption of sugary foods and drinks in children caused the increased association of plaque bacteria that formed around the gums, leading to gingivitis. This wear and tear of the teeth can be prevented by quitting soda consumption. (6)
3. Aids weight loss
A good number of people living in the developed world are overweight and obese.
Drinking sweetened beverages and sodas is the quickest way to consume tons of calories without even realizing it. Your daily habit of drinking a can of soda is causing you to pack up some additional weight. (7)
Various studies have been conducted to establish the relationship between sugar-filled drinks and obesity in both adolescents (7) and adults. (8) Choosing noncaloric beverages instead of caloric beverages as a weight-loss strategy resulted in average weight losses of 2% –2.5%. (9)
So, cut down on soda if you want to cut off some extra pounds.
4. Lowers the risk of diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world. Almost every other person suffers from diabetes or is prediabetic, to say the least. Studies have linked this deadly noncommunicable disease with soda consumption.
Patients who already have type 2 diabetes experience a negative impact on their glycemic control after consuming sweetened beverages. (10) In healthy individuals, sugary sodas increase the risk of diabetes.
The good news is that this effect may not be permanent. Replacing your daily soda with water or other healthy alternatives can lower your risk of diabetes. (9)
5. Lowers the risk of heart diseases
Scientists and researchers have been telling people how high sugar consumption is bad for the heart. Those who meet their daily calorie requirement via sugary meals and drinks are at a higher risk of heart disease. (11)
Studies have been done to establish a relationship between soda intake and heart problems. Results showed that people who drink sugary beverages are more likely to develop an imbalance of cholesterol and triglycerides in their bodies that causes dyslipidemia and paves the way for heart disease.
If you quit drinking sugary or artificially sweetened soda, you’ll be more likely to have a healthier heart and will be able to prevent various deadly diseases such as stroke. (12)
6. Supports bone health
It is no secret that regular intake of sweetened sodas can result in very frail and fragile bones. Multiple researchers and studies have revealed that the risk of fractures and broken bones is higher in those who drink soda very frequently. (13)
Beverages such as these have a problematic ingredient list that contains not only high sugar levels but also caffeine and phosphorus. Both of these ingredients have negative effects on bones.
Phosphorus reduces calcium absorption in the body, which is not good for your bones. (14) Similarly, caffeine can weaken the bones by interfering with calcium absorption. (15) This also leads to increased calcium excretion through the kidneys, which can later promote kidney stone formation. (16)(13)
Lowering your intake of sodas and other sweetened drinks can lead to improved physical health and fitness by promoting bone development.
7. Improves brain health
If you feel like your concentration and focus have decreased lately, you may have to rethink keeping sodas in your diet. One study has shown that people who consumed high levels of sugary drinks had poor memory as they did worse in memory tests than those who didn’t drink sodas and sweetened drinks. (17)
Moreover, drinking sodas consistently for years promotes the development of dementia. So, even if you don’t experience the negative impact of soda consumption right away, in the long run, it is just very bad news for your body and overall well-being as it is a great risk for stroke and dementia. (19)
8. Preserves skin health
Drinking soda can cause immense damage to your skin. It can cause and exacerbate uncomfortable conditions such as acne and eczema. It promotes dryness of the skin and causes itchiness and redness. It contributes to acne as well because of its inflammatory action. (20)
Quitting soda can do wonders for your skin.
9. Promotes good sleep
People who drink sodas very frequently tend to sleep the least. Their quality of sleep can also be quite poor. Soda intake can also impair their ability to fall asleep quickly.
Several studies that reviewed the sleep habits of people who drink sodas concluded that sugary beverages decrease sleep duration. Such people also tend to wake up not fresh and feel lethargic and drowsy throughout the day. (21)
Most-Asked Questions About Consuming Soda
Does soda intake expedite the signs of aging?
Soda intake has been linked to fine lines and wrinkles. The caffeine, extra sugar, and other ingredients in sodas cause premature aging.
This is because they give a hard time to your cells as they try to regenerate, making them age faster. Regular cell regeneration is important for healthy skin as skin cells shed and regenerate very quickly. (22)
Chugging soda can also lead to the breakdown of elastin and collagen, which are found in your skin and are responsible for keeping your skin young. As their level deteriorates, so does your skin health, accelerating the aging process. This results in loss of skin elasticity. (22)
Is it true that quitting soda makes you live longer?
One study found that increased soda consumption can shorten life expectancy. Drinking sweetened beverages daily has a drastic impact on your lifespan and increases the risk of mortality from digestive and health issues. (23)
What effects does soda have on muscles?
Consuming too much soda has been linked to unhealthy muscles. Intake of sodas, especially colas, increases the risk of hypokalemia (decreased blood levels of potassium). This condition impairs muscle function, and patients can develop weakness or paralysis. (24)(25)
No matter how tasty and appetizing an icy glass of soda is, stay far away from it. Sodas are incredibly bad for health. They have a negative impact on not one but several body systems and functions. They can also cause severe problems that can be life-threatening in later stages, such as heart and metabolic disorders.
Replace your soda consumption with water and other healthy alternatives such as sugar-free and chemical-free carbonated drinks, which include sparkling water. Even tea and coffee are good choices of beverages, too, in comparison to harmful sodas.
Keep your children away from them, too, as they can be quite addicting from a young age and can affect their brain development.