Soda has been in the news a lot recently, and it’s not getting good press. There are articles on the negative environmental impact, studies showing that diet soda may actually increase weight gain, and even Pinterest posts that demonstrate how certain sodas can be used to clean your toilets.
In order to combat some of the negative attention, Coke is planning to release a low-sugar alternative, the Stevia-sweetened Coke Life. But, at the end of the day, how much soda is actually safe to drink?
According to Dr. Deepa Verma, the answer is none. “There is no safe amount of soda to drink. Once you start, you either love it or hate it. Most people love it enough to get addicted. I would caution and recommend against any soda consumption whatsoever. It's just downright toxic.”
But what about SodaStream? If we’re making it at home, it can’t be too bad for us, right? “While it may be a ‘healthier’ alternative because it seems you are consuming less sugar than a store-bought soda, the serving size for SodaStream is small. Most people don't have the willpower to drink a small amount of soda. Although there is usually no high fructose corn syrup in a SodaStream creation, there are still artificial sweeteners like Splenda (sucralose), which is not healthy. Remember, artificial sweeteners are just as harmful, if not more, compared to regular sugar. In the end, consuming a glass of SodaStream is really just consuming sugar water.” Instead of added sugars, Dr. Verma recommends this alternative: “If you have a SodaStream, you can use it to make some sparkling water with fresh lemon.”
Still, according to a recent study, nearly half of all Americans are drinking a glass of soda daily. With our country’s passion for pop, let’s take a look ten of the worst side effects associated with drinking too much soda.
Unless you plan on brushing each time you finish your drink, soda will wreck havoc on your pearly whites. The sugar content rots your teeth while the acidity strips your enamel. The mouths of those who regularly drink soda have even been compared to the mouths of people who use methamphetamines.
“Caffeinated soda causes heart rate to increase and blood pressure to rise,” says Dr. Verma. Additionally, caffeine intake can cause insomnia, nervousness, breast tenderness, migraines, and even urinary problems. Caffeine may also interact with certain medications, causing nausea, vomiting, and increased heart palpitations.
Sophie Rosenblum is a native New Yorker with a passion for Texas. Her writing on food and travel has appeared in Spoon Magazine and the Houston Press. She will eat anything, but she especially loves finding innovative vegetarian restaurants while traveling with her husband.