I used to love soda pop. After mowing the lawn on a hot afternoon, nothing tastes better than a cold Pepsi. When I was a boy, pop was served every evening at dinner usually it was RC Cola. It was a treat that we only had at dinner. We never gave any thought to the health consequences of pop; it was just a nice thing to drink at the end of the day.
Today, more soda pop is consumed than beer. It is estimated that half of all Americans drink the stuff. It is also estimated that the average amount they drink is almost three glasses a day. If we assume that each glass is 8 ounces, then Americans are drinking 29 million gallons of this sweet, sticky stuff a day. That is an amazing amount, especially when there are absolutely no health benefits derived from it. In fact drinking soda is one of the worst things anyone can do.
- Sugar overload – Twenty minutes after a drink, your blood sugar spikes causing as insulin burst. Your liver responds by turning sugar into fat. Forty minutes later, caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and in response, the liver dumps more sugar into your blood stream.
- Obesity – With this sugar loading, the dangers of obesity increase. The risk of obesity increases 1.6 times with each drink of soda. 70% of cardiovascular disease, and 42% of colon and breast cancer are related to obesity.
- Diabetes – Those who drink soda have an 80% increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
- Heart Disease – Most soft drinks in the US today are sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). HFCS has come under a lot of scrutiny lately and may be associated with the development of metabolic syndrome, a condition that results in heart disease and diabetes. One in every four deaths in the US is due to heart disease.
- Osteoporosis and Kidney Issues – There is a high amount of phosphoric acid in soda pop. A diet high in phosphates leaches calcium from the bones and other tissues of the body, softening the bones and creating osteoporosis. Too much acid also creates an acidic environment in the kidneys. This, along with not enough water in the diet leads to kidney stone formation.
- Asthma – Sodium benzoate is a preservative used in pop and many prepared foods. Some reported reactions to this chemical are asthma, rashes, and eczema.
- Reproductive Issues – The soda pop cans are lined with a plastic resin, and the bottles are made of plastic that contain Bisphenyl-A. This cancer-causing chemical is a known endocrine disrupter potentially causing premature puberty and reproductive abnormalities.
Now some of you may be saying, “That’s all well and good, but I drink diet, so I don’t have to worry about the sugar.” That may be so, but artificial sweeteners are another monster with their own ill-health issues that may be worse than sugar.
Clearly, soda pop is one of the main contributors to disease in this country. With all of the concern these days about health care costs, you can go a long way to improve your health by eliminating this from your diet. When I mention this to some of my clients, I often hear “but I don’t like water” as an excuse to not drink it. The fact is your body is about 70% water – not soda pop, and that water needs to be replenished regularly. You can always make water more enjoyable by adding a little lemon, orange, or lime.
Life evolved in the oceans and the internal environment of your body mimics the ocean. Last I looked, the oceans are made of water, not Dr. Pepper.