Americans spend more than $66 billion on carbonated drinks, such as soda, every year! Many have no idea what bad effects their addiction to these drinks can cause. Drinking one 20 ounce soda is similar to eating 17 teaspoons of pure sugar. Below are some of the negative effects that soda can have on your health.
Tooth decay- The combination of the acid and sugar in soft drinks eats away at the enamel on your teeth, making it easier for decay to set in. The acid first dissolves the calcium that helps to protect the enamel, causing teeth to become soft and more prone to having bacteria, such as the sugar in the soda, stick to them and cause decay.
Stomach aches, gas- The carbonation in these beverages is not good for your stomach and can cause discomfort, especially for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Bone weakening- It has been found that young girls and teens who consume soda on a regular basis have much lower bone densities than those who do not drink soda. Low bone density makes it easier for someone to break or fracture their bones. One reason for this may be that these girls are drinking soda rather than calcium-rich drinks such as milk. This will ultimately cause a calcium deficiency.
Weight gain- Extra weight can increase your risk for type 2 Diabetes. If you drink one 20 ounce soda per day, you are consuming an extra 91,000 calories and 7,280 teaspoons of sugar per year! This is just assuming that people are only drinking one soda, which is highly unlikely if you have a soda addiction. By cutting out this one daily soda, a person could potentially lose 26 pounds of fat in a year!
The main reason it is so easy to become addicted to soda is because it contains caffeine. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, so when consumed, it fights off feelings of fatigue and drowsiness, making you feel awake and alert. Caffeine is considered a psychoactive substance, but unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is unregulated and legal. Over 90% of Americans consume caffeine daily! It is believed that a large majority of the U.S. population are completely tolerant to the effects that caffeine can have on the body. Tolerance to caffeine develops extremely rapidly, sometimes within only 18 days from the start for very heavy coffee and soda drinkers.
For those trying to cut back on their soda and caffeine consumption, be aware that caffeine withdrawal can begin to take effect within 12 to 24 hours after you have stopped drinking. The symptoms, which usually include headache, anxiety, irritability, stomach ache, difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, fatigue and nausea, will peak during the second day and can last for up to five days. One way to help relieve these uncomfortable symptoms is by taking a pain killer, such as aspirin, along with a small dose of caffeine, of course!