It’s no secret that soda is unhealthy, with calories emptier than your average Bachelorette contestant. After all, the first ingredient after carbonated water is sugar! And cities are starting to treat it like the health scourge it is: A soda tax in Philly has already reduced sales by as much as 50% in just six weeks.
Yet one-third of Americans report having at least one sugar-sweetened beverage every day, according to the CDC. It’s no surprise that one-third of adults are also considered to be obese.
Even if you’re not a regular soda drinker, you may think the occasional splurge is harmless. But is it? The combination of sugar, chemicals, and carbonation required to make your favourite fizzy beverage can wreak havoc on more than just your waistline. Researchers at Eat This, Not That! dove into the studies and their findings will shock you. Here’s what drinking soda really does to your body, and to discover even more
The effects of drinking soda on your body, are dramatic, and speedy. Minutes after you take the first sip, the assault on your body begins. Your body goes into a sugar-induced upward and then downward spiral.
effects of soft drinks on the body
Image Source: TheRenegadePharmacist.com
Here is what happens to your body:
A 12-ounce can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, and this hit your system after 10 minutes of drinking soda. 10 teaspoons are 100% of your recommended daily intake.
You do not immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness, because the phosphoric acid and other flavorings mellows the sugary flavor, thus allowing you to keep it down.
Did You Know?
Phosphoric acid can eat away at your teeth’s enamel, and iterrupt your ability to absorb calcium. Calcium is the bone building mineral.
The soda passes quickly through your intestines and stomach. Your blood sugar spikes, which causes an insulin burst. Your liver responds quickly to the glucose in your bloodstream, by storing as much as it can. Most of the sugar is converted into fat. There is practically no limit to how much fat your body can store.
Did You Know?
The main sugar present in sodas are either high fructose corn syrup or sucrose. Both are broken down into roughly 50% glucose and 50% fructose. These are absorbed into your bloodstream.
The effects of caffeine are under way. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, which causes your liver to release even more sugar into the bloodstream and your heart and respiratory rates increase.
If you are tired, you will not feel it, as the caffeine blocks your brain’s adenosine receptors.
Your dopamine levels rise abnormally and turns on the pleasure centres in your brain. This creates a revved-up “high”, which is similar to the one produced by cocaine, amphetamines and heroin.
The diuretic properties of caffeine comes into play. It makes you have to pee. Your body will now evacuate the bonded magnesium, zinc and calcium, that goes into your bones, as well as electrolyte, sodium and water.
The total urine output of calcium, water, sodium, magnesium, potassium, chloride and creatinine increased in the 2 hours following caffeine ingestion, as when compared to the control beverage.
The pancreas sees that your blood sugar is spiking. This sends out a burst of insulin to bring your blood sugar back down.
The caffeine is also doing its role in your bladder, and soon enough, you need a bathroom break.
How Does Insulin Work?
Insulin is the main key for the cells of your body’s, so that sugar or glucose can come inside. Once this happens, there is less glucose in your bloodstream, so you blood sugar comes back down.
MORE THAN 60 MINUTES
A sugar crash now hits you, HARD! You are left feeling tired, sluggish, cranky, thirsty, and ready for another soda, most especially if it’s a diet soda.
The artificial sweeteners that are used in diet soft drinks can also affect the addiction centers in your brain, thus keeping you coming back for more.
Also now, literally, you have pissed away all the water that was in the soda. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients that your body could have used for hydrating your system or building strong teeth and bones.
After seeing all that, it is no wonder why many of Americans, and even those across the globe suffer from heart failure and obesity. Soda companies have spent a lot of money convincing people that the harm of soda is far outweighed by the delicious taste, and it seems to be working. One thing you may not know about drinking Coke, is that it actually dehydrates you. This may seem impossible given that you are ingesting liquid, but it actually takes your body more water to digest and break down everything in soda, than what is in the can to begin with.
Many of you will read this and continue on drinking sugary drinks, but while the consequences may be long term, think about what the fructose is doing to your body. There are more natural ways to get your daily caffeine intake, and once you quit soda, you will soon find your energy and metabolism performing better and you will crave fewer sweets.