Carbonated beverages such as soda can be delicious, refreshing and energizing, but they come with a slew of negative effects, especially if you drink too much. You can still enjoy them in moderation as part of a healthy diet, but think of them as treats replace them with healthier alternatives. The bulk of your liquid intake should come from water, which will quench your thirst and combat fatigue without any of the cons of soda consumption.
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Both regular soda and diet soda have been linked to weight gain. It’s easy to guess why regular soda can cause the scale to creep up. A 12-ounce can of soda can have 150 calories or more. They are empty calories because they count towards your target total calorie intake but they neither satisfy your hunger nor provide nutrition. Soda can be addictive, so many people cannot stop at just one, and the calories will certainly add up. Diet soda can affect your weight as well. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio found that study participants from the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging who drank two or more diet sodas a day gained the most weight. Further research is needed to determine whether this effect is behavioral or physical. People may gain more weight when they drink diet soda because they believe they are being “good” and can therefore cheat on diets. Also, artificial sweeteners may actually stimulate hunger.
Both regular and diet sodas can be loaded with this addictive drug. According to Mayo Clinic, a 12-ounce serving of soda can have over 50mg of caffeine. Sodas that promote themselves as energy drinks can have up to 160mg. Mayo Clinic recommends cutting back if your total daily intake is over 500. When you add coffee, tea, chocolate and other foods that have caffeine, soda can make up a huge part of this suggested daily limit. Additionally, you may be far more sensitive to caffeine than the average person, so your personal limit may be much lower. Side effects of caffeine include headaches, restlessness or anxiety. Getting too used to drinking caffeine can lead to addiction and caffeine withdrawal, which can cause headache, fatigue, sleepiness, an inability to focus and concentrate, irritability, and depression.
Regular sodas can have over 40g of sugar in just one serving, which is over 10 teaspoons of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends a daily sugar intake of 26g for women, 36g for men and 12g for children. Additionally, they recommend that this sugar be eaten in the form of natural sugars, such as those found in fruits. An excessive amount of sugar can cause headaches and blood sugar surges and crashes, which can cause alternating energy highs and lows and hunger.
All carbonated beverages can bloat you, adding extra unsightly inches around your waistline. Bloating happens when gas builds up in the stomach. It could cause gas and stomach pain. The carbon dioxide gas in soda may also make you burp more.