Anyone who has spent any time poking around here knows we are not big fans of soda. It’s not that we don’t love it because we do! It’s more because of the way it just doesn’t love us back. As good as it tastes, it’s best to make soda a very tiny portion of your diet – like for special occasions and holidays only. A nice benefit to that is that it tastes pretty incredible after you haven’t had it for a few months. It’s been well-established that soda is one of the unhealthiest things you can drink, and that goes for “diet” or sugar-free versions as well. While the idea of giving up soda may horrify you, you’ll never know how it will benefit your health until you give it a try. Here are 10 good reasons that you’ll be glad you did.
1. SAVE MONEY
Soda is probably a long way from being the most expensive item in your shopping cart, but the savings can add up when you start leaving it on the shelf, especially if you are someone who buys it by the case on a regular basis. Considering that about $76 billion worth of soda was sold to consumers in 2012, it might represent bigger savings than you think.
2. LIVE LONGER (AND LOOK BETTER)
While we can’t come right out and claim that drinking soda will shorten your life, there is some evidence that suggests it may cause you to age a bit faster. A recent scientific study found that soda consumption may cause cells to age faster. In some ways, drinking soda may accelerate aging similarly to the way cigarette smoking does.
3. LOWER RISK OF DISEASE
The magic ingredient in soda that makes it taste so great is sugar. No real surprise there, but as more and more doctors and scientists are beginning to realize, too much sugar is very bad for your health. Too much sugar is known to contribute to your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and even gout. Don’t be fooled by diet sodas since the artificial sweeteners they contain are far from beneficial for your health.
4. YOUR TEETH
We all know sugar is bad for our teeth. That’s something that’s probably been drummed into us since we first learned how to talk. Soda has more than its share of sugar for sure, but what you may not know is that it also contains acids that can contribute to the erosion of the enamel on your teeth. That makes soda doubly bad for your choppers, and once again, diet soda is no exception because it contains the same acids.
5. LOSE WEIGHT
In a lot of cases, cutting soda out of your diet will often cause weight loss. That means you may be able to shed a few pounds without dieting, working out or doing anything else except quitting soda. Healthy eating and exercise is always a good idea, however.
6. ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS
Whether you consider yourself a tree-hugger or not, it is interesting to know that the energy used to produce one 2-liter bottle of soda has about the same carbon footprint as driving an automobile for about a mile.
7. REDUCE BATHROOM BREAKS
The caffeine that is found in many brands of soda is a diuretic, which means it tends to make you pee a lot. Making matters worse, it is also a bladder irritant which makes it even more likely that drinking soda is going to have you headed for the bathroom more frequently than you otherwise would. There’s also the link between artificial sweeteners and overactive bladder to consider.
8. LOWER CANCER RISK
An additive called caramel coloring is widely used to make soda, and although it may sound harmless enough, not long ago it was linked to the possibility of increased cancer risk in humans. This concern was serious enough to cause the American Beverage Association to release a statement saying that soda manufacturers were now using less of the potentially-dangerous substance that raised concerns about caramel coloring.
9. IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY
We already know that big dollar-worshipping multi-billion dollar companies will put just about anything in their food products that will make them look or taste better as long as it doesn’t cause people to drop like flies as soon as they eat or drink it. That’s why they aren’t shy about using something called brominated vegetable oil (BVO) for some of the citrus-flavored sodas we are familiar with. This stuff was first developed as a flame retardant, and food manufacturers later found that they could use it in their products to make them taste better. The problem is that BVO has been linked to health issues such as memory loss, nerve problems and skin lesions in people, and behavioral and reproductive problems in mice. At least you can take comfort in the fact that you probably won’t catch fire while you are drinking it.
10. KIDNEY STONES
If you know of anyone who has endured a run-in with kidney stones, you’ll know it’s not a walk in the park. The pain can be excruciating and has been described by some women as being worse than childbirth. That’s something you’ll want to avoid for sure. Scientific studies have linked soda consumption with a 23 percent higher risk of developing kidney stones.