But you soon should be so done with soda…
Soda addiction is a real thing. The caffeine and the sugar rush/crash cycle work together to create a physiological dependence that takes work, and lots of withdrawal symptoms, to overcome.
Your brain rewards cola’s quick spike of sugar calories with a “sugar rush.” This means that your body produces more insulin in order to get your blood sugar back down to normal, but then when the insulin quickly uptakes the sugar, you feel a sugar crash (unclear thinking, irregular heartbeat, tremors, sweats, bad mood!) and the desire to drink more soda to wake back up again.
So, how do we break this global bad habit? To combat tobacco addiction in the United States, an ad campaign called “Truth” spared the reader no harsh words or gruesome images to convince them to give up tobacco products. Perhaps a “scared straight” tactic could work on soda addicts, too?
In case a more detailed picture of the ugly truth can convince anyone to abstain (like, teeth stains!) from drinking cola, in this guide I’m creating a list of some of the probably lesser-known evils of soda drinking.
Hopefully, you’ll soon be so done with soda too!
You already know that it increases the risk of cancer and diabetes, but what don’t you know about the pain it could someday put you through?
We already mentioned that soda contains carcinogens, but one of the big ones is a byproduct formed when caramel coloring is being made in the factory. Dr. Keeve Nachman, a professor at Johns Hopkins, expressed anger that consumers were being exposed to a greater cancer risk simply for the “aesthetic” of color. Even if cola isn’t clear, the risks certainly are.
It Makes You Fat…In Your Liver
You already probably know that the added calories in soda, plus its effect on insulin release, can cause weight gain. However, the overproduction of insulin also increases fat buildup in the liver (which, in turn, makes the body more resistant to insulin!). You could develop fatty liver disease from this, meaning that your liver is scarred and damaged and less able to clot your blood (which is its purpose). This could cause death either from ruptured veins, or from liver cancer/failure.
Phosphates and Your Fate
Phosphoric acid is double-bad! Not only does it speed up aging by taxing the heart and kidneys, but it also literally leeches the calcium from your bones, and causes muscle loss! While fizzy drinks are stealing away your hard-earned minerals and running your kidneys ragged, you could have been drinking something that would have nourished your body and added more nutrients, instead.
BPA, No Way
Don’t think that anything could be worse than phosphates? It’s time to think outside the box — or inside the cola can. The aluminum can is coated with a resin, bisphenol A, which is meant to prevent any funny business between the acidic drink and the metal can (scary enough, in itself!). This chemical compound has been shown to wreak havoc on hormones, which can make you infertile, gain weight, or even get heart disease or cancer.
Benzoate is Not Great
Benzoate (sodium or potassium) might be the worst chemical of all, though it may be difficult to believe we’ve saved the best for last, after learning that you’re drinking an epoxy resin if you drink from a can!
But there’s something even worse than a polymer glue that makes your hormones crazy: a chemical that makes your DNA crazy. Yes, benzoate hurts DNA in your cells so much that it may turn strands of DNA completely off! The effects of DNA mutation aren’t well-understood, but the thought of the building blocks of life being torn down is terrifying, either way.
While soda addiction may be powerful, knowledge is power, too. Now that you know even more disturbing details about not only cola, but even the can it comes in, hopefully you’ll be inspired to try a healthy, tasty substitute. Consider flavored water, kefir or sugar-free flavored seltzer. (They won’t break your DNA, we promise!)
Are you now so done with soda?