Sodas With the Scariest Ingredients

  • By: Max S.
  • Date: December 1, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Those sweet beverages might not be so sweet after all. 

Who doesn’t love chugging down a bottle of Coke? Carbonated beverages are known as the ultimate thirst quenchers worldwide, but have you ever sat down and thought about what exactly goes in these drinks?

We don’t blame you for finding them oh-so irresistible. These sugary treats are designed to leave customers wanting more, but beware: they’re a huge trap!  Companies love advertising their sodas as delicious pick-me-ups, but you’ll never catch them telling you just how many harmful ingredients the drinks contain. 

We’d hate to see you jeopardize your health with these sugary bombs. So today, we’re going to expose the drinks for what they are: a big health hazard. Continue reading to learn all about what’s in those cans you’re holding! 

How Bad is Soda Really for You?

If you want a simple answer, they’re pretty bad! Sodas contain excessive sugar and other harmful ingredients that destroy your health. From belly fat accumulation to higher disease risks, the negative effects are endless!

We know this is just about the last thing you want to hear, but we owe it to you to tell you what’s going on. As bitter as this truth may be, it’s a pill we’ll have to learn to swallow for the sake of good health. Our bodies will thank us for it in the long run.

To begin with, let’s talk about one of the main culprits here: sugar. As we all know, carbonated beverages contain loads and loads of sweet, sweet sugar! That’s what makes these drinks so tasty. But unfortunately, excessive amounts of it can damage your health.

The problem is that liquid sugar just doesn’t make you feel full. No matter how hard you try to resist, you’ll naturally find yourself wanting more and more! So as you consume an increasingly large number of sodas to satisfy your stomach’s needs, you’ll end up consuming more calories than planned, and we all know that leads to weight gain!

Considering just how much sugar these fizzy drinks contain, it is unsurprising that excessive soda consumption can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Even as little as one can a day can do some irreversible damage! 

But that’s not all. A high sugar intake can also increase your chances of developing heart disease. One study showed that men who consumed one of these beverages daily had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack than those who didn’t. Concerning, isn’t it?

It only gets worse. Sodas also contain an excessive amount of high fructose corn syrup. So when you drink too many fizzy drinks, your liver turns fructose into fat. Over time, this can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. 

Fructose is also linked to an increase in visceral fat: the fat around your belly. And unfortunately, large amounts of belly fat are linked to a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.

As if that wasn’t enough, the acids and sugar in soda are even known to cause tooth decay. And believe it or not, these carbonated beverages can even increase your risk of developing cancer. The list is never-ending.

Now here’s some controversy. Groups like The Sugar Bureau and the American Beverage Association argue that the media places too much blame on sodas. They like to call this an anti-soda bias. 

However, there is enough science to prove the troubling effects we discussed. For example, the Harvard School of Public Health reviewed 30 studies and found that there is indeed a link between sugar-sweetened drinks and obesity. 

Obesity researcher Kelly Brownell believes that studies that don’t show a connection between carbonated beverages and health problems are written by authors backed by the beverage industry. Hmm. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Professor and American Heart Association spokeswoman Rachel K. Johnson doesn’t think these concerns are overstated or misrepresented. Though cutting down on sugary beverages certainly isn’t the only way to improve your health, it isn’t a bad idea. That’s a given.

What chemicals make soda so harmful?

Honestly, the list just goes on and on. Sodas contain all sorts of harmful chemicals that seriously threaten your health. Some of the most dangerous ones include brominated vegetable oil, yellow-5, and bisphenol-A. But truthfully, there are a lot more. 

You know by now that soda isn’t exactly what you thought it was. Companies love listing these dangerous chemicals in the tiniest print imaginable, but we’re here to unveil the truth and tell you about every single one of them. You deserve to know what’s entering your body.

Check it out. Here are the chemicals you need to know about.

  • Brominated vegetable oil 
  • Yellow-5
  • Bisphenol-A
  • Phosphoric acid
  • High fructose corn syrup 
  • Aspartame 
  • Acesulfame potassium 
  • 4-MEI

Keep reading to learn more about why these chemicals are as bad as they are!

Why Should You Be Worried About the Chemicals in Your Soda?

As alarming as it may sound, these chemicals are destroying your health. So don’t fall for the pretty packaging of the cans. What’s inside can cause various problems, including nerve disorders, obesity, and tooth decay. 

In the previous section, we made a list of the most common chemicals in your soft drinks. Now, let’s talk about why they’re so lethal. You don’t want to skip this part.

Brominated vegetable oil 

oil pouring

Initially patented as a flame retardant, this food additive is linked to reproductive problems and nerve concerns. It can also irritate the skin membranes and cause worrying symptoms like memory loss and impaired coordination. No wonder it’s banned in both Europe and Japan!


Okay, we’re just going to keep it real with you. Studies show that the yellow-5 food dye is a potential carcinogen, a substance that can cause cancer. On top of that, it is also known to catalyze allergic reactions like asthma and urticaria. 


Found in the plastic lining of your soda cans, Bisphenol-A is a major red flag. This chemical is said to have terrible effects on the brain and prostate gland effects. Plus, it’s linked to an increase in blood pressure. 

Phosphoric acid 

Be careful! Some studies state that this acid can put you at risk for osteoporosis. It can also weaken your tooth enamel, increasing your chances of tooth decay. And you know what that means, don’t you? More trips to the dentist! 

High fructose corn syrup 

cough syrup

We discussed the dangers of high fructose corn syrup in one of the previous sections, but let’s dive a little deeper. This artificial sugar is linked to obesity and can even increase your chances of developing diabetes and heart disease. In short, it’s pretty much a big no-no.


Meet another artificial sweetener: aspartame. Unfortunately, it can lead to several irritating side effects like headaches and migraines. But wait, that’s not all! Some studies link aspartame to cardiovascular disease. 

Acesulfame potassium 

Okay, I think the lesson we’ve all learned here is to avoid artificial sweeteners at all costs. Though the FDA approves it, some studies showcase that acesulfame potassium can lead to hormone disruption. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


soda over ice

The caramel color of sodas like Coke might be very appealing, but it’s not nearly as innocent as you think. 4-MEI is yet another hazardous carcinogen, so it’s best to put those fizzy drinks down once and for all. It’s not worth the risk!

See what we mean? Throw those carbonated beverages away the next time you go grocery shopping! It’ll do you more good than you might realize.

Are There Any Health Benefits of Soda?

While sodas can be good for hydration and energy, that’s pretty much all they have going for them. As we discussed earlier, soft drinks have far more downsides than plus points. Keep that in mind the next time you feel tempted to buy one.

Let’s give credit where credit is due. Just like any other beverage in the world, sodas can be good for hydration. However, the #1 source of hydration is still water for obvious reasons. 

Carbonated beverages are also high in caffeine, which means they can increase alertness and performance. But remember: excessive caffeine consumption has its fair share of side effects, including anxiety, nausea, and jitteriness. 

And well, that’s pretty much all the (somewhat) positive things we have to say about soda. Other than that, they’re pretty much horrendous. As you saw in the previous sections, the sugar and artificial sweeteners in these drinks can increase disease risks and negatively affect your body in many ways. 

To put things into perspective, just look at this stat. According to the American Heart Association, men should not consume more than 36 grams of added sugar daily, and women should not consume more than 25 grams. Wanna know how much sugar just one 12-ounce can of soda contains? A whopping 32 grams! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out just how bad that is.


Let’s face it: the scary ingredients in your favorite carbonated beverages are a recipe for disaster.

The next time you find yourself craving that fizz, remember what they’re putting in those drinks. They’ll wreck your body in endless ways, and you need to take action before it’s too late.

Opt for a healthier alternative like H2O to quench your thirst instead. There’s no need to pick up those cans of chemicals and calories! Instead, a good ol’ bottle of water should do the trick.