The truth about what that soda really does

SODA POP STATS — Not just our physical health gets effected by soda, but our brains are at risk to have negative repercussions from too much soda as well. (Trend Hunter)


Many times, we passively order a soda when we go out to eat  or down a bottle while watching our favorite Dutch win MIAA  championships. A large CocaCola with our McDonald’s burger; why not? Let’s unpack some  of the reasons that maybe a soda really isn’t your best option.

The majority of people already know that soda is not the  healthiest thing and contains  lots of sugar, but most don’t realize just how bad soda is. Now,  it’s one thing to drink a soda every once in a while, and it’s a  whole different thing to be consuming this sugary beverage  daily or even weekly. These sugar-filled beverages account for the largest amount of added sugars in the country. And, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, 25,000 obesity-related deaths were linked to sugar-filled drinks. Plus, the American Journal of Public Health says that a soda a day can age you by over four years.

The consumption of sugar is not just in regular soda drinks,  but weight gain is also connected to diet drinks, according to  the University of Texas Health  Science Center. Even the coloring of some sodas contains dangerous toxins linked to cancer.

Have you ever heard of a substance called brominated vegetable oil or BVO? Probably not. But BVO is what they use  in drinks like Mountain Dew to keep the flavor from separating from other ingredients in the drink. It’s also used as a flame retardant in plastics. Look at that: multi-functional! It also can have negative impacts on memory and nerve functioning.

Likewise, within the first few sips of soda, we have already consumed over 100 percent of our daily value of sugar, which means that we can’t consume any more sugar all day if we want  to stay in a healthy range of sugar consumption. Plus, we would  actually vomit from the amount of sugar consumed in such a short period of time. If you don’t believe this, imagine eating about 10 teaspoons straight of sugar. However, thanks to added phosphoric acid, our bodies are able to down the sugar without even thinking much about it.

Drinking soda also causes our body to release insulin to combat the elevated levels of glucose. It’s actually pretty cool how our bodies are able to quickly recognize and respond to the increased spike in glucose levels from the added sugar, but the problem is that insulin is not a one-job hormone. Unfortunately, in this case, insulin also tells our body to store glucose as glycogen if we already have enough energy.  Therefore, those nine other teaspoons of sugar are now stored  in our bodies as glycogen. However, once the body stores as  much glycogen as it needs, excess turns into fat.

So the next time you reach  for a bottle of soda, maybe rethink that option. Even a fruity  sports drink or juice box is a better alternative to soda. Every so  often a soda won’t do too much damage, but when in doubt, your best option is to order something else.

Although soda can taste super yummy, and sometimes filling up on a nice slurpee in the  summer is what we really want on a hot day, there can be many  negative impacts in the longrun. Really, health is a lot about  portions. That much sugar will never be good for us, but if you don’t find it to be part of your regular or daily diet, it’s okay to have something not-so-healthy every so often. Just like anything else we ingest, it’s important to  be aware of the potential problems that could result if the junk  becomes a habit.

To kick the habit, slowly start replacing the super sugar-filled drinks. Even juice is a healthier  option, but a lot of juice can contain tons of added sugar and artificial sweeteners. Read the labels and be conscious that even  though not all sugar is bad sugar, it’s probably safer to buy a drink that contains less grams. Maybe it’s time to start saying bye to soda.

'The truth about what that soda really does' has 4 comments

  1. March 5, 2018 @ 11:17 pm AmeriBev

    Beverages, including soft drinks, can be part of a balanced lifestyle – there are lots of choices that have little to no sugar or some that are in smaller packages. America’s beverage companies agree that it’s important for Americans to be mindful of their sugar intake. We’ve been broadening beverage choices dramatically through innovations like lower calorie sodas, teas, sports drinks, flavored waters, enhanced waters and premium waters. We’ve developed mid-calorie versions of longtime favorites; we created mini-cans. The beverage aisle looks much different today than just 10 years ago. We are committed to being part of real solutions to public health challenges with initiatives like Balance Calories – an initiative to reduce the calories Americans consume from beverages nationally by 20 percent by 2025.

    We’d also like to clear up several points of misinformation profiled in this article:

    1. Beverages do not cause cancer – of any kind, and research fails to prove this conclusion.
    2. Some have reported that BVO is a flame retardant (so is water!), and is unsafe for use in foods and beverages. BVO is an emulsifier, which is used in some products to improve the stability of the beverage by preventing some ingredients from separating. The body of science and regulatory authorities deem this ingredient safe, and research does not support the claim that this single ingredient uniquely causes complex health conditions.
    3. Contrary to the misinformation here, diet soda and low-calorie sweeteners have proven to be an effective tool for weight loss and management. For instance, a randomized clinical trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that those who consumed diet beverages in place of caloric ones consumed fewer calories than other control groups, including those who consumed only water.

    Bottom line: our industry’s products have been extensively tested and reviewed, with the body of science and regulatory agencies around the globe repeatedly verifying their safety.


    • March 14, 2018 @ 7:22 am Isabella Bustamante


      Although I understand that you are trying to defend your products, I did mention that a soft drink won’t harm you every once-and-a-while. So your claim that they can be a part of a balanced lifestyle could be true. However I must say that the average product in which I am speaking about is packed-full of sugar and is completely unhealthy on a normal basis. I did not talk about alternative options being unhealthy, but I specifically said soda for a reason. Likewise the intake of diet options is not necessarily any better. Many artificial sweeteners are not healthy whether they are FDA approved or not. Just because the FDA approves a product as “safe” does not mean it is healthy. What you consider misinformation is a simple desire to make unhealthy products not the “bad guy” when in reality excessive consumption does lead to increased obesity among other things on average. I never claimed beverages cause cancer, so you are not clearing anything up by saying that. I did say they were linked, but so are many things, and consistent consumption of sugary beverages is not helping anyone prevent cancer. If anything it leads to other diseases also associated with cancer. Additionally, BVO may be considered “safe,” but this also does not mean it is helpful to our bodies on any nutritional level. Diet options may help with weight loss, but these options can be just as addictive and our better option would be not consuming them in the first place. Your industry may test and approve products, but we need to not link “safe” with “healthy.” I appreciate your desire to confront misinformation, but you’re defending a company who sells the products which gives you bias to defend them. However my goal is to ultimately make people aware that sugar-filled drinks don’t improve your health and lead to health problems in excess, “safe” or not.

      Isabel Bustamante
      Lifestyle Editor


  2. June 4, 2018 @ 9:06 am zeal for life wellness

    Yes we have to kick that bad habit of drinking sugar in form of sodas. It is important that we evaluate how soft drinks can influence a person’s health as even moderate consumption of soda can be dangerous.

    zeal for life wellness


  3. September 10, 2019 @ 11:36 am Frank Dalla

    We need products like soda to help create happy dead people. There are far too many people on the planet, and if everything we eat and drink only prolongs human lifespans, we’ll only add more people to the problem. People need to die sooner than later. Sodas can help and should be promoted for that reason.


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