8 Good Reasons to Dump Soda

Americans are drinking more soda than ever; in the last two decades, soda consumption in the United States has doubled. Americans drink, on average, 1.6 cans of soda daily – that’s about 597 cans of soda a year! Yikes!

And if that’s not bad enough, according to the USDA, 7% of Americans’ calories come from high fructose corn syrup (a major and troublesome component to soda), making HFCS (a processed ingredient and a marker for diabetes and obesity) the largest single source of calories in the average American diet. It’s time to put down the sodas! If you need it, here are eight reasons why you should drop soda and pick up a healthy option like water!

Reason 1: Dehydration
Drinking soda with caffeine and sugar causes your body to become dehydrated. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it causes an increase in urine volume. When you drink a caffeinated soda to quench your thirst, you actually become thirstier, because you lose water through more frequent urination. Kind of a Catch-22, isn’t it?

Reason 2: Empty Calories
Regular soda is extremely high in calories. A can of Coke contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is 100% of the daily recommended value for adults. An 8 ounce can of soda has anywhere between 100-250 calories, depending on the brand. Not only are the calories from soda empty of any nutritional value, they also add up quicker than most people realize – as they tend to “drink” their calories without knowing, leading to significant obesity.

Reason 3: Caffeine Addiction
Caffeine addiction and withdrawal has been recognized as a medical disorder. A study at Johns Hopkins University revealed a few interesting facts about caffeine.

“Caffeine is the world’s most commonly used stimulant, and it’s cheap and readily available,” says Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins. “The latest research demonstrates that when people don’t get their usual dose they can suffer a range of withdrawal symptoms, including headache, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. They may feel like the flu with nausea and muscle pain.”

Reason 4: Acidity Levels
Whether you drink diet or regular soda, the amount of acid is enough to wear away at the enamel of your teeth over time. Teeth with weakened enamel are more sensitive and more susceptible to decay. In tests done on the acidity levels of soda, soda was found to have a pH of 2.5 — consider that battery acid has a pH of 1 and pure water has a pH level of 7. Scary stuff!

Reason 5: Diabetes
No research has definitively shown only soda causes diabetes, but daily soda consumption creates problems that lead to diabetes: weight gain and excessive sugar intake. Soda consumption is a pre-diabetic marker, specifically in children.

And yet, according to the Children’s Hospital in Boston, the fact remains “when sugar enters the bloodstream, the pancreas has to secrete large amounts of insulin for the body to process it. The unceasing demands that a soda habit places on the pancreas ultimately leave it unable to keep up with the body’s need for insulin. Also, insulin itself becomes less effective at processing sugar; both conditions contribute to the risk of developing diabetes.”

Reason 6: Soda Replaces Healthier Drinks
In the 1950’s, children drank 3 cups of milk for every cup of soda. Today that statistic is flipped: children drink 3 cups of carbonated drink for every cup of milk. One of the biggest problems with soda is it acts as a replacement drink for healthier options. Less amounts of milk in the average diet could account for the lower bone density and higher occurrence of osteoporosis, among other issues seen today.

Reason 7: Save Money
Soda is usually pretty inexpensive when compared with fruit juice and milk. You can purchase twelve 8-oz cans for around $4.00 at most places. A person who drinks just 2 cans of soda a day will pay around $206 over the course of a year to maintain the soda habit. If there is more than one soda drinker in the house, or you drink more than 2 cans each day, that yearly total could quickly double or triple! Why spend money on something so detrimental to your health?

Reason 8: Join the rest of us!
Starting back on September 1st, more than 800 people in the Carolinas (and beyond – 15 states claim participants) took a pledge to stay away from soda for 60 days, and drink 60 ounces of water every single day to ensure proper hydration. For more information, check out our website. You are welcome to join at any point! Enjoy the support group for the challenge via Facebook and Twitter, and give up soda!

About the Author: Bobby DeMuro is the Executive Director of NoFizz Charlotte, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthy hydration throughout the Carolinas through community education events and student outreach programs. He resides in Charlotte with his dog, Dakota. For more information, visit www.nofizzclt.org.


 Mommyality combines Mommy and Reality. You never know what's going to happen, nor do you want to know. Read more from this author


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