What Are the Side Effects of Giving Up Soda?

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Abandon the soda and you'll have better teeth and quite possibly loose weight. (Image: sodapix sodapix/F1online/Getty Images)

Rates of soda consumption have risen dramatically in the United States, and many people drink soda daily. At the same time, rising rates of obesity and diabetes are causing concern. Giving up soda or at least reducing your consumption is a wise step to improving your diet and overall health.

Caffeine Withdrawal

In the short term, giving up sodas may result in symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. These may include headache, irritability, fatigue and sluggishness, difficulty focusing, anxiety, depression and impaired motor and cognitive performance. Caffeine withdrawal generally peaks in the first 48 hours after stopping caffeine consumption, and the symptoms disappear within 2 day to one week.

Blood Sugar

ScienceDaily.com reports on laboratory research that demonstrates a link between soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup and the development of diabetes. The study revealed extremely high levels of reactive carbonyls, compounds which are also elevated in diabetics and responsible for causing widespread tissue damage. Children appear particularly prone to the effects of high-fructose corn syrup.

Dental Health

Sodas contain a combination of sugar and acid that promotes tooth decay. The carbonic or phosphoric acid in soda dissolves the calcium out of the enamel, leaving a softened matrix that allows bacteria to enter. The sugar is converted to acid by the bacteria on the teeth, causing further damage.

Weight Loss

Studies have found a link between soda-drinking habits and rising rates of obesity in the United States. Both adults and children who regularly drink soda end up consuming more calories overall and experience weight gain. Drinking diet sodas does not seem to improve overall heath. There is evidence that these artificial sweeteners in diet drinks may actually increase sugar cravings and contribute to a poor diet overall. Giving up sodas is a good starting point for developing healthier eating habits to encourage weight loss.

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