Brands like Coca-Cola, Sprite, and Dr. Pepper are just a few of the many soda beverages on the market. Soda is a popular drink that the average person consumes worldwide. These beverages come in different flavors like grape, orange, and cherry to name a few. At first, these drinks may taste good due to their high sugar content, but drinking too much soda can lead to many health problems down the line. A 20 oz soda found in a vending machine contains a total of one-third of a cup of sugar which is a total of 65 grams of sugar as it is explained by an article Silive.
What is soda?
Soda was first introduced in the 18th century as a medical agent for sickness. Today, soda is used for consumption as a beverage. Soda is a carbonated drink full of sweeteners, corn syrup, and artificial flavors. Corn syrup is for baked goods, jellies, and candy. It helps create volume and texture and it prevents crystals from forming in food. While this syrup may seem as an essential ingredient, its use in soda beverages has many negative health outcomes. According to Mayo Clinic, “ High fructose corn syrup can contribute unwanted calories that are linked to health problems such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and high triglyceride levels”.
Drinking large amounts of soda can contribute to negative health effects including:
Type 2 Diabetes: Lifestyle factors, like obesity and poor diet, can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The CDC explains that high sugar intake in a short period of time can cause insulin resistance, which increases glucose levels in the blood. According to Harvard T.H Chan it states, “ People who consume sugary drinks regularly 1 to 2 cans a day or more have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks”.
Heart Problems: The heart is a vital organ in our body and it is part of the circulatory system. Without the function of a heart, we would not receive oxygen and nutrients in our bodies. In, Harvard Health Publishing , Dr. Hu expresses that, “The effects of added sugar intake — higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease all linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.”
Weight Gain: Weight gain is defined as the increase in the amount of weight over a period of time. Sodas contain empty calories as they provide minimal nutritional value. “ Drinking one soda a day could lead to a pound of weight gain every 13days or about 38 pounds a year of weight gain,” explained by City Smiles St. Louis.
What are some alternatives?
Drinking water is always the best choice but occasionally, you may want to enjoy a sweet drink. Soda contains large amounts of sugar and, over time, it can cause the development of health problems. The following are some alternative drinks that are good for your overall health:
Sparkling Water, also known as soda water, can help you stay hydrated. In fact, soda water helps with dehydration and digestion. Well-known sparkling water brands found in the grocery store include San Pellegrino, Bubbly, and Spindrift.
Infused water is a blend of berries, ginger, lemons, and cucumber in water. On the internet, this drink can be found in a glass like a bottle. Infused Water has many health benefits from blood sugar control, immune defense, hydration, and weight loss as explained by PVAMU University. Infused Water can be made easily in the comfort of your home with water, fruits, and leaves of your choice.
To learn more about soda and health, you can listen to our podcast here focusing on Type 2 diabetes and Sugary Drinks.