The sugar in soda can be addicting, similar to alcohol tobacco and drugs. It just feels good when you consume it. But like most addicting things, it can harm your good health long-term. More and more research is coming out to show the negative health effects of frequent consumption of soda. We tend to argue that you should enjoy everything in moderation. With soda, our recommendation is to enjoy it very rarely.
If you’re a daily drinker of soda, it may be hard to quit. But this is what happens when you do:
1. Your heart health almost immediately improves.
A study conducted by Harvard University in 2012 found that sweet, sugary drinks like soda increase the likeliness of chronic heart disease. Participants in the study who drank soda frequently were 20% more likely to have a heart attack. Another study from 2011 found that soda raises your blood pressure and the more you drink, the higher it gets.
2. Risk of chronic disease decreases.
The obesity epidemic is far, far from over in the United States. Soda is a direct contributor to the obesity epidemic. With obesity comes cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a heightened risk of other chronic diseases. Ditch soda and you’ll ditch some pounds too.
3. Improved reproductive health.
Some, not all, but some soda cans contain Bysphenol-A, or BPA. BPA is linked to an increased risk of cancer and impairment of the endocrine system. Numerous studies have shown the dangers of BPA, linking it to premature puberty and infertility as well. BPA has been found to increase your chance of breast cancer, prostate cancer, metabolic disorder, and type 2 diabetes.
4. Your kidneys will be in better shape.
Studies have indicated that drinking soda increases your risk of kidney disease that leads to the failure of your kidneys all together. Diet sodas do nothing to help your kidneys too. In fact, one study showed that women who drank diet soda every day had decreased liver function.
5. You’ll grow stronger bones.
This is a pretty well known fact of soda. It weakens your bones. By stopping, you improve your bone health and decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Strengthen your bones with high calcium foods and drinks like almond milk and broccoli.
6. You’ll get fewer bladder infections.
Soda is a diuretic, which causes you to urinate more frequently and more urgently. This urgency irritates your bladder and can cause bladder and urinary tract infections. Drink clear fluids like water or unsweetened juices to help your urinary tract stay clear and healthy.
7. You’ll have a brighter, whiter smile.
Soda ruins your teeth. Leaving soda on the shelf leads to better oral health. In a 2013 study, researchers found that a woman who drank 2 liters of diet soda every day for 3-5 years had the same level of tooth decay as a meth addict. Run a Google image search “meth mouth” to get a better idea of what we’re talking about. It’s pretty harsh.
8. Last but not least, your brain will be able to its job better.
Many people reach for the soda to get a caffeine and sugar boost to beat the midday fog. It helps for a little while, but ultimately the practice has a negative effect on your brain function. In one study, long-term consumption of sugar was found to lead to impaired learning and behavioral plasticity.
“We have investigated a potential mechanism by which a diet, similar in composition to the typical diet of most industrialized western societies rich in saturated fat and refined sugar (HFS), can influence brain structure and function via regulation of neurotrophins,” the authors of the study write.
Animals on a high sugar diet had less of a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor which negatively impacted their ability to learn and remember things. Not only is it a great reason to not drink soda, but don’t let your children drink it either.
That’s about what you can expect when you kick soda out of your cupboard.