While it’s no secret that soda is not a healthy drink choice, just how bad is this highly-addicting beverage for you, anyway? And just how seriously might it be affecting your ability to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight?
This article will lay out the facts for you, digging into what the science says about this high-sugar, high-calorie drink that so many people can’t live without. It will also touch on diet sodas (which come with their own scary health warnings), and finally give advice on what we recommend you drink instead! Spoiler alert: You’ll find delicious, healthy drink recipes at the end, so don’t cut out early!
1) Highly-Addictive, and Void of Nutrients
Sure, you may love the fizzy, sweet taste of soda, but do you actually know how much sugar is in every sip? According to the American Heart Association, a typical 12-ounce can of regular soda contains TEN teaspoons of sugar. Therefore, in the short time it takes you to finish your soda, you’ll be consuming well over the recommended daily upper limit of daily sugar (which is 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men)!
As you know, sugar is highly addictive, and it always leaves you wanting more. So, even after drinking all of that sugar, you’ll be tempted to have another soda, and then another, and the cycle continues. Not only is this bad for your waistline, but soda also has virtually nothing good in it for you – no vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats or fiber – just sugar and calories!
2) It Can Make You Feel Pretty Awful
Even if all you’re doing is sitting on the couch in front of the TV while drinking a large cup of soda, consuming the beverage can leave you feeling tired, hungry and cranky. That’s because the immediate sugar rush you get from a blood sugar spike will eventually give way to a blood sugar crash – leaving you exhausted.
Not to mention, since your body doesn’t get any essential nutrients from the drink, you’ll lack energy and crave food (or more sugary items) to help pull your blood sugar back up. Not to mention that soda has caffeine which can also dehydrate you, causing an even bigger dip in energy and overall motivation.
3) Linked to Weight Gain
Studies show a significant link between regular soda consumption and larger waistlines and body weights in general. In a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, people who were regular soda drinkers cut down their intake (by one less can per week) and showed a pound less weight gain than those who stayed with their normal soda habits.
In addition, women who added a can of soda per day gained more than two pounds over the study period, and had larger waists compared to those who didn’t drink more soda.
There are multiple reasons why regularly drinking soda can equate to weight gain, including that it’s high in calories while not being satiating. It also can increase your hunger and cravings for sweets, and lead to your body releasing more of the fat-storage hormone, insulin. Learn more about the surprising benefits of losing weight here!
4) Increased Risk of Disease
We already covered that when you drink soda, you consume a large amount of sugar all at once. That sugar becomes glucose in your body, which needs to be redirected from your bloodstream to your cells by the hormone, insulin. However, when you drink sugary soda (and other drinks containing the sugar, fructose), your cells become less sensitive to the effects of insulin.
Basically, the process no longer works as well, and you develop insulin resistance, where your body needs to produce more and more insulin to try and get the glucose out of your bloodstream. And this can lead to a dangerous spike in blood sugar (glucose) levels.
Why is glucose in your blood bad? It can lead to serious health problems and also increases your risk for various diseases that threaten your health and happiness.
5) Increased Heartburn
If you normally suffer with heartburn, drinking soda isn’t going to do you any favors. In fact, soda can make acid reflux symptoms even worse – due to the carbonation and acid it contains. In addition, though some people swear that certain sodas, like ginger ale, can actually calm their stomach, experts say otherwise.
When it comes to ginger ale, the coldness of the drink can slow down the activity in your gut. In addition, the carbon dioxide (which makes soda bubbly) can leave you feeling even more uncomfortable.
6) Bad for Teeth & Skin
All that sugar is not only bad for your health and your waistline, but it can also lead to tooth decay and even faster aging symptoms in your skin. When it comes to your teeth, the combo of the sugar with the acids in soda can cause the enamel teeth to erode – potentially hastening tooth decay.
As for your skin, sugar in the bloodstream can affect the natural collagen and elastin fibers, making it much harder for the skin to repair itself. This can lead to enhanced signs of skin aging (such as wrinkles and sagging skin) and speed up the overall aging process.
So, Should You Switch To Diet Soda Instead? Absolutely Not!
If you’re reading this article thinking, ok, I’ll save a lot of potential health problems by simply switching to diet soda instead of regular, think again! Research shows that these beverages (which are chock full of artificial sweeteners), are just as bad, if not WORSE for you, than sugar-laden sodas.
While they contain little to no calories, they also don’t include nutritional ingredients. In addition, they contain a ton of artificial junk that does not belong in your body, including artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors.
Along with the fact that these chemically-created sweeteners (Splenda, Aspartame, etc.) have been linked to a greater risk of health problems and disease, studies also show a link between diet soda and obesity.
In general, drinks containing artificial sweeteners may increase your cravings for high-sugar foods, leading to a higher intake of daily calories. In addition, they aren’t at all satisfying, and contribute to the same spike and crash in blood sugar that regular sugar (and sodas) do.
What Should You Drink Instead of Sugary or Diet Beverages?
If you’re currently addicted to soda or any other high-sugar or diet drink, and after reading this article realize you drink it far more often than you should, don’t worry… We have some solutions for you.
It all starts with recognizing that the BEST thing you can drink for your overall health, weight loss goals, optimal brain functioning, concentration and balanced mood is water. Not only does drinking water keep you hydrated and keep your digestive and other systems running optimally, but it also helps suppress your appetite and reduce unhealthy snacking.
Of course, we get it. Sometimes, you just need more flavor, and something other than water. Which is why 310 Lemonades are convenient, healthy drink powders you just add into water – and they taste amazing. Not only are they low in calories (with only 10-13 per serving), but they don’t contain artificial sweeteners or other artificial ingredients.
Instead, they contain a proven caffeine-free green tea extract and alkalizing minerals – that help boost your energy, naturally. And the best part is they help crush your cravings for sugar, and boost your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories.
All that being said, you didn’t think we would leave you hanging without some delicious, healthy drink recipes, right?! We’ve got you covered, below… Enjoy!
Amazingly Tempting, Hydrating Healthy Drink Recipes
Along with 310 Lemonades, 310 herbal detox teas and even green juice powders are great ways to stay hydrated and cleanse your body while enjoying tasty daily beverages. Here are some recipes that you can mix up at home, work or on-the-go, so you always have healthy choices available:
- Delicious “mocktails” you can whip up in seconds
- Healthy lemonade/iced tea
- Raspberry “fruit” pops for hot days
- Frozen healthy lemonade
Remember, if a beverage has sugar or an artificial sweetener in it, you shouldn’t be drinking it. Instead, drink as much water as possible, along with hydrating beverages that naturally energize and offer powerful nutrients for your ultimate wellness.