There’s just something oh-so irresistible about those fizzy drinks, isn’t there?
Picture this: it’s a scorching summer day, and you’re looking for a way to quench your thirst instantly. You walk over to your nearest grocery store and lock eyes with a beverage that seems to be calling your name: soda. You twist the bottle open and chug it down, relishing the feel of the sugary flavor and the adrenaline coursing through your veins. Boom. Problem solved, right? Well, not really.
On scorching summer days, nothing quite hits the way soda does…or so we thought. Millions worldwide love these carbonated beverages for their delicious taste, but few know the vast dangers of consuming them.
Though soda might be the perfect companion for your burger and fries, it’s pretty terrible for your health. It might even lower your lifespan altogether.
What exactly makes these drinks so unhealthy, and what’s the unhealthiest soda to drink out there? In this article, we will answer every single one of your questions. So sit down, relax, and grab a bottle of water. And without further ado, let’s get right into it!
What is the #1 Worst Soda?
It’s hard to crown one soda as the #1 worst option when pretty much all of them are atrocious. But if we had to pick, our vote would go to Mountain Dew. The sweet, citrusy flavor of this carbonated soft drink has made it a fan favorite, but the health risks of the beverage are far from appealing. And hey, there’s a science to back it up too!
Don’t fall for the hypnotizing green of the Dew. The addition of the orange juice might make it seem healthier at first glance, but in reality, it’s anything but. According to expert dieticians, this soda contains more added sugar than all the other popular fizzy drinks out there.
Even a single 12-ounce can of Mountain Dew contains a whopping 46 grams of added sugar. Such an excessive amount can eventually cause concerning health problems, including strokes and diabetes.
But wait, that’s not all. The Dew has also been linked to tooth erosion and decay, so keep that in mind if you love those pearly whites of yours. On top of that, this beverage contains a little something called brominated vegetable oil (BVO). This harmful emulsifier is linked to memory loss and bromism, which causes muscular weakness. And as if that wasn’t enough, Mountain Dew contains Yellow 5 Dye, a potentially carcinogenic food coloring.
Don’t let the rest of the sodas in the market fool you either. Fanta’s 170 calories, 44 grams of added sugar, and potentially carcinogenic Yellow 6 Dye aren’t good for you either. Fan-favorite Coke is linked to osteoporosis, and even the highly caffeinated Pepsi Zero Sugar is associated with bone loss. See our point?
Why are Sodas So Unhealthy?
Honestly, the list is never-ending. Soft drinks are scientifically proven to have disastrous effects on the human body, and we’re not going to sugarcoat any of them. From weight gain to higher disease risks, sodas are by far the worst drink you could consume.
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty.
Plus, these drinks contain loads of high-fructose corn syrup. If you consume a little too many of these sugary bombs, your liver will end up turning the fructose into fat. Later, this can even lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
It gets worse. If you think about it, all these drinks typically really have is sugar — no vitamins, minerals, nothing. It’s just a ridiculous amount of sugar that doesn’t add much to your diet. It is so ridiculous, in fact, that it is linked to type 2 diabetes. To add to that, there is even a correlation between sugar intake and heart disease risk.
We’ve already established that soda can lead to tooth decay. In some cases, it can even lead to cancer. The last thing we want is to see your health in shambles, so we strongly advise throwing away these sugar-sweetened drinks and opting for a healthier beverage instead. It’ll make all the difference in the world.
Why Am I Craving Sodas So Much?
If you find yourself craving those darn fizzy drinks a little more than usual, it’s probably because you’re dehydrated or dealing with low blood sugar. Perhaps you just love the sugary sensation so much that you just can’t resist! The possibilities are honestly endless.
Reason #1 is that your body lacks the fluids it desperately needs. So of course, you start craving liquids that could help you rehydrate yourself. That makes sense, right? Plot twist! The excessive sugar in soda makes your dehydration worse. So the next time you find yourself craving a drink, just grab a bottle of H2O instead.
Another potential reason could be low blood sugar. To put it simply, if your blood sugar levels are lower than usual, your body will naturally start craving sweetened beverages for that instant sugar fix. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your health. Your body might be trying to tell you something.
And sometimes, honestly, the reason is that you love a good old carbonated rush just a little too much! On paper, soda’s an easily accessible and satisfying solution to all of your problems. You might think of it as a comfort drink or an instant mood-booster.
But beware: that brief dopamine surge is just going to leave you wanting more and more, and excessive consumption of the drink might cause you to develop an addiction. So think twice before you pop open one of those bottles.
Does Soda Cause Belly Fat?
We know this is going to sting a little, but we’re here to provide you with the full truth. Yes, soda does unfortunately cause belly fat. And over time, this accumulation can even increase your risk of developing certain diseases.
You know by now that an excessive sugar intake can lead to weight gain. But more specifically, the fructose in your soda is linked to an increase in the fat around your belly called visceral fat. And to make matters worse, this type of fat increases your risk of developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
There’s even a study to back it up. Over 10 weeks, scientists handed 32 individuals sweetened beverages with either glucose or fructose. According to the results, those who consumed glucose noticed an increase in subcutaneous fat, whereas those who consumed fructose witnessed an increase in belly fat. With the ability to lead to metabolic disease, the latter must be avoided at all costs.
Which is Healthier: Coke or Pepsi?
Ah, yes. It’s the battle of the sodas. There’s nothing quite like a Coke-Pepsi rivalry, and almost every person in the world has a solid stance on this matter. If you find yourself wondering which of the two is healthier, the answer is simple: neither.
If you think about it, the two have a lot in common. They both contain caffeine, high-fructose corn syrup, and carbonated water. And in short, they’re both incredibly dangerous and unhealthy.
Let’s talk about nutritional content. If we were to compare the numbers, Coke is the marginally better option of the two. In a 12-ounce can, Pepsi has 41 grams of sugar, 150 calories, and 30 milligrams of sodium. Meanwhile, Coke has 39 grams of sugar, 140 calories, and 45 milligrams of sodium.
So basically, Pepsi loses in the carbs and calories department, but Coke contains way more sodium than its competitor. Either way, the two have terrible health implications, and we strongly recommend staying away from them.
How Many Sodas is Too Many?
We’ve established that sodas are pretty much like the devil. But if you still find yourself unable to resist, you might be wondering just how many sodas are considered acceptable before the health risks start kicking in. Ideally, you’d be better off not drinking soda altogether. But if you must, make sure to never consume it daily.
According to the American Heart Association, men are recommended not to consume more than 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of sugar a day, whereas women are advised not to consume more than 6 teaspoons or 25 grams. Now listen to this: just one 12-ounce can of soda contains a whopping 8 teaspoons or 32 grams of added sugar!
Just by drinking one can, you’ve already consumed enough sugar for the day. So if you continue to drink a can every single day, you’ll increase your chances of bumping into some serious health problems. For example, a study reported that women who drink a sugary beverage every day have a 20% higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease than women who don’t.
Your safest bet is to just not drink soda altogether. But if you must, we highly recommend keeping your intake low. An occasional drink now and then won’t do much harm, but consistent consumption will prove to be disastrous. Trust us.
Guess these sweet drinks aren’t so sweet after all. If you were looking for a sign to bid farewell to soda and join team H2O, this is it! But, if you truly value and prioritize your health, the fizzy drinks have got to go.
The potential risks are endless from belly fat accumulation to tooth decay to diabetes! No matter how delicious or satisfying they might be, they’re not worth any of the long-term health concerns. So the next time you find yourself staring longingly at the soft drink aisle, make sure you consider all the negative impacts. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.