Do you like to drink soda? If you do, then how many cans of soda do you drink in a day, a week or a month?
Have you ever stopped to think how much you might be drinking and what the implications to your health may be? Then perhaps it is time that you did.
Soda, even diet soda, is definitely NOT good for your waistline, not good for your physiology as a whole as well as being detrimental to your health.
So why do you drink it? Let's have a look at the perils of drinking soda, why you even drink it and what the alternatives are.
Why Do You Buy Soda?
No matter what the advertisers of soda brands may try and have you believe, things do not go better with drinking the stuff, nor does it make you feel good, look good or be good on the inside.
Cracking open a can of a particular brand will not get a bunch of beautiful people of the opposite sex to start dancing around you and want to be your friend. It will not carry you away to a tropical island and it will not make the sun shine through a cloudy, overcast sky.
What it will do for you is make you fat, get acne, feel lethargic, lose bone density, lose interest in things and set you up for a gradually deteriorating level of physical health. Don't believe any of that? Okay, it's your choice. Or is it?
Advertisers are extremely clever when it comes to making people by a product, whether it is a certain brand of washing powder, a make of car or just a can of soda. They create a feeling of wanting the product and then reinforce it with clever hooks that get you to feel that you must have it or your life will be empty without it.
Advertisers can get people to smoke a particular brand of cigarette even when the whole world knows that smoking will kill you. So do not believe for one minute that when you go into a store and see a stack of soda cans of several different brands that the one you select is your choice. It is not. That choice has been subliminally implanted in your mind by the advertisers.
Still don't believe it? Then why do you instinctively pick up a can of a branded make of soda in preference to a cheap unbranded supermarket soda? Well?
It's not because the supermarket soda will taste any worse than the branded soda in most cases. It is just that the advertisers don't brainwash you to buy cheap supermarket brands because it is not as profitable as selling you certain brands of cola, or orange flavored soda, or whatever.
Why Soda is Bad For You
The main problems with drinking soda come from the ingredients as well as the fact that it is carbonated liquid. Let's look first at the ingredients.
The non-diet stuff contains high levels of refined sugar, which pumps you full of empty calories as well as creating a rush of sugars entering the bloodstream, which are then countered by an insulin response. Do this too many times in a day and you will put stress on your pancreas where the insulin is produced while increasing your chances of developing type 2 diabetes down the road.
Not only that, but each time your body has to release high levels of insulin to counter a blood sugar rush, the result is that a quantity of visceral fat gets stored in your belly area. This builds up over time and the results are perfectly visible while being undesirable.
Diet soda gets you around the problems with the insulin response and on the surface, looks to be the perfect solution to allow you to keep drinking the stuff without getting fat. Wrong!
Most diet drinks substitute the sugar with artificial sweeteners. The most common of these is aspartame, although some use sorbitol and you can even still find some drinks that use saccharin. Let's take these sweeteners in turn.
Saccharin...has fallen from grace because of its confirmed links with cancer. If you find anything with this sweetener in it, put it back on the shelf. It was always unpopular because of the unpleasant aftertaste it have the food or drinks it was used in.
The only reason saccharin remained in use for so long after it was initially banned by the US government back in the 1930s (because they knew then that it caused cancer) and reinstated was because of pressure from diabetics societies. They forced the issue because there was no other alternative sweetener to sugar that they could consume. Read into that what you will.
Aspartame...burst onto the scene in the 1970s as the wonder sweetener that did not leave that bad aftertaste that saccharin did. It was marketed under the name Candarel amongst others and you could even buy bags of sugar substitute that looked like granulated sugar but was made from aspartame. It replaced saccharin in almost all artificially sweetened foods and drinks and was believed to be the perfect solution.
Unfortunately it came with baggage. Tests showed that the wood alcohols in aspartame became unstable at 87 degrees Fahrenheit and their chemical composition changed into formaldehyde. Formaldehyde, for those who do not know what it is, is used as embalming fluid by morticians and is also a known carcinogen. Yes, dear readers, another cause of cancer.
Sorbitol...is not so widely used as aspartame, although it is also believed to come with some potential dangers to health. Sorbitol is known to have a strong laxative effect when taken in anything more than minute quantities, which is often why some sugar-free gums and sweets come with a warning not to consume more than a small amount in any one day.
There are other problems with artificial sweeteners in that they fool the brain into thinking you are hungry and stimulate the feeling of hunger. So what you may save in not consuming the refined sugars of non-diet soda, you will lose because you will be tempted to eat more high calorie salted snacks, such as potato chips, nachos, pretzels and all the other stuff that is guaranteed to expand your waistline!
There is one other ingredient in all sodas, whether they are diet or not that can have a detrimental effect on your health that you should also be aware of. That is the carbonated liquid itself.
Carbonated drinks are acidic and often come with a ph value of around 3, which is actually very acidic. It is known that highway police carry a supply of a certain well known cola in the trunk because it is one of the most effective cleaning agents for washing blood off the blacktop following a fatal motor accident. So what is this doing to your insides?
Well, for one thing, it increases your body's overall level of acidity, which some experts believe can lead to conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. It is certainly known to reduce bone density especially in teenage girls.
This is why low acid diets such as the alkaline diet are becoming increasingly popular. It also ties in with dieting effectively with your physical health uppermost in mind.
What are the Alternatives to Drinking Soda?
The initial reaction to being told that you really should avoid drinking soda is one of resistence.
After all, it is tough to break all that TV advertising brain washing and mental conditioniong to believe that soda is good. It is even tough to believe that you have been conditioned or brainwashed, because one aspect of brainwashing is instilling in the person that they have not been brainwashed! Clever!
But once common sense has returned and you are able to actually think for yourself again, then you will see the wisdom in ditching the soda for more healthy drinks. Of these, the most beneficial and health giving of all drinks is good old fashioned plain water! Yes, its true!
Water is the very best liquid for rehydrating your body and quenching your thirst. There is actually none better. It improves your digestive system and helps to raise your metabolic rate along with it.
It detoxes your body and helps keep your colon healthy, alleviating constipation and normalizing your body's overall ph level. It also contains zero additives and zero calories.
After water, some fruit jucies are a reasonable alternative, but should be taken in small quanitites. That is because many are also fairly high in acidity. Apple juice and pear juice are two of the best to drink as they are lower in overall acidity than others such as orange and grapefruit juices.
Cordials and concentrated jucies that you add water to are generally better than soda, although many also contain a lot of unwated additives and sugar free brands contain aspartame, so be careful. In fact, the best way to flavor plain water if you must do it is to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!
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