Obese or overweight subjects who replace high-calorie drinks with water are twice as likely to lose 5% or more of their body weight.
Soda is a junk food. When consumed in a regular diet, it provides nothing but empty calories to the body and most contain no vitamins and minerals. The primary additive in most sodas is high fructose corn syrup, which has no dietary benefit. The remaining ingredients in soda consist of sweeteners and preservatives. Also, coming as no surprise, the sugar consumption involved in drinking soda is cited for causing tooth decay, however, the acid in soda has been proven to erode tooth enamel in just 20 minutes.
Soda may even be a contributing factor to more brittle bones, resulting in lower bone density. It has been found that a moderately higher level of calcium was lost by those who drank carbonated beverages that are high in caffeine. This appeared to be consistent with people drinking soda instead of healthier beverages like real fruit juice.
If the health risks of soda are not enough to get people to stop drinking it, maybe vanity will work.
Other side effects of drinking soda include an increased risk of obesity (which is rising in the U.S.) and diabetes (which can result from being overweight). Consuming soda in moderate amounts can minimize the side effects yet the amount of sugar found in soda is excessive for one day, let alone one drink.
Swapping out the soda, or carbonated beverage, for water is a quick way that overweight (obese) individuals to drop up to five pounds.
In a study that will be printed in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers discovered that when a group of overweight and obese subjects substituted water for their high-calorie drinks, they were twice as likely to lose five percent or more of their body weight compared to their counterparts.
The other participants either were given diet soda or were given general information about healthy lifestyle change and were free to drink what they chose. This study was done over a six month span.
Diet soda may not be the answer to a replacement for regular soda. According to a study by Harvard University, two or more servings of the diet alternative correlates with a decrease in kidney function. Kidney function was reduced at a quicker pace in women observed in this study.
Meanwhile, another 10 year study released this year that suggested that daily diet soda drinkers increased their risk of a stroke or heart attack by 43 percent (Journal of General Internal Medicine, January 2012).
In conclusion, drinking soda every day and even a couple of times per day can contribute to adverse health effects. Still, after all of the claims, facts and tests, drinking water instead of soda is a tall order for some people who have become addicted to the fizzy, sugary taste of carbonated beverages.
Just remember if your car battery dies and you need a jump, if your terminals are corroded, you can use soda to clean them off. If you need to take the paint off your car, just reach for that soda. Experiment: place a metal object in a glass of soda and let it sit for about four days . . . see what happens. Now think about your soft tissues on the inside!
By: Rocco Ferraiolo PTA, NASM-CPT, SPARQ certified