This blog is for all of my soda people out there. I for one have never been a fan of soda but love a fizzy/ sweet tasting drink to sip on. Soda is one of the most highly addictive and demanded caffeinated drinks out there, but for various reasons, soda is TRASH for you and your body. The ingredients contain dangerous chemicals which work against your body and lead to increasing health risks such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. These chemical ingredients include:
Biphenol-A: Biphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical that mimics estrogen in the body, which leads to early puberty in females, reduced sperm counts, and increased rates of reproductive cancers. BPA may also interact with other hormone receptors potentially altering their function.
Brominated vegetable oil: Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is linked to bromine exposure which can cause skin irritation and over time neurologic symptoms.
Phosphoric acid: Without phosphoric acid, soda would spoil quicker and lack the strong fizzy flavor that we all love. The acidity in phosphoric acid is strong enough to erode your teeth if consumed every day. In addition, this chemical lowers bone density, triggers majorkidney issues, decreases nutrients in the body, increase body acidity, and damages tissue.
High fructosecorn syrup: Diets high in fructose can actually slow down your brain, altering your ability to learn and remember new information. High-fructose corn syrup specifically has also been linked to obesity.
Aspartame: This artificial sweetener turns into poisonous wood alcohol and formaldehyde when it reaches your body, but it isn’t eliminatedby your kidney and liver’s normal waste filtering.
Sucralose: This artificial sweetener is less dangerous but should still be avoided as it can increase cravings and food consumption. It is found primarily in diet soda brands.
For more information on these ingredients use this link to learn more about the effects and potential health risks associated: https://azchemistry.com/list-chemicals-soda
In addition to the dangerous chemicals found in soda, there is a TON of sugar in just one can of soda. One standard can contains roughly 39 grams of sugar which exceeds the daily recommended sugar intake of about 25 grams. The CDC claims that people who frequently drink sugary drinks are more likely to face health problems, such as weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis. Your body metabolizes all added sugars the same way; it doesn’t distinguish between “brown sugar” and “honey.” When reading a label, make sure you spot all sources of added sugars even if they’re not listed as the first few ingredients.
Soda companies will try to combat regular soda with a diet option which can actually do more harm than good. While the calorie content is lower or even a zero calorie option, the artificial sweeteners used in diet soda are full of unnatural chemicals that can cause your body to crave more high-calorie and sugar-laden foods. A study in Cell biology and Toxicology claims that the toxins found in artificial sweeteners aren’t eliminated by your kidney and livers normal waste filtering. The chemicals found in sodas are incredibly foreign and harmful to your body so be sure to choose your beverages wisely and do your body a favor and read into the labels/ ingredients.
Here are some tips when browsing for healthier beverage choices… you cant always trust a label that says “sugar free” or “natural” because companies use word play to trick consumers into believing that what they are putting into their body is pure and “healthy.” These are common phrases/ words included in caffeinated drinks that you should keep an eye out for.
High-fructose corn syrup: High doses of fructose punch little holes in your intestinal lining, causing a “leaky gut.” This allows foreign food proteins and bacterial proteins to enter into your bloodstream, which triggers inflammation, makes you gain weight and causes type 2 diabetes.
Fructose: Too much fructose can lead to more fat production and other imbalances in the body.
Fruit juice: Fruit juice concentrate lacks the fiber that whole fruit provides which triggers larger spikes in your blood sugar.
Sugar: Sugar intake is associated with higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease. Sugar should be consumed naturally and in moderation.
Sucrose: When sucrose is digested it breaks down into fructose and glucose, which then go their own separate ways in your body. This process raises your blood sugar.
Dextrose: Dextrose is a form of glucose found in naturally occurring foods such as corn, fruits, and honey but raises blood glucose levels very quickly.
Be sure to avoid the ingredients listed above and also be mindful of the following differences found on labels:
Zero sugar vs Added sugar: Ideally go for beverages that have zero sugar but no more than 10 grams per 8-ounce serving.
Glucose vs Sucrose: The majority of sucrose that people consume in the American diet comes from sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, whereas glucose is found naturally in most carbohydrate-containing foods, including fruits and whole-grain breads. Glucose is our body’s favorite energy source. It is also called blood sugar because it circulates in the blood and triggers the release of insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Your body breaks down most carbohydrates into glucose, which is then used for immediate energy or stored in your muscles or in the liver as glycogen.
Now for the good stuff! The purpose of this blog isn’t to scare you away from sodas but to provide safer and healthier options to minimize the consumption of toxins and optimize your wellness. Here are some healthy alternatives for sodas such as Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta (whatever your fix may be). These suggestions are low calorie, low sugar, natural, and still give you the satisfaction of sipping on a soda.
- Zevia is a low-calorie, sugar-free drink made from plant based ingredients. While there isn’t nutritional value to this drink, it is much healthier than full-sugar sodas.
- Poppi contains “prebiotics” which is found in apple cider vinegar- a key ingredient in this beverage. While prebiotics contribute to healthy gut function it is unlikely that you will feel any benefits of prebiotics through the form of this bene rage. Regardless, it is still a healthier, low calorie drink that can be enjoyed in moderation.
- Olipop drinks are vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, Paleo and keto-friendly, as well as free of artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors. Instead of using damaging ingredients to mimic the sweet soda taste, Olipop uses natural cassava syrup, stevia leaf extract, and natural fruit sugars.
- Wave soda contains no artificial ingredients, no added sugars or sugar alternatives. This beverage keeps ingredients simple with sparkling water, natural fruit juice, and a generous dose of caffeine.
- Live soda is a kombucha that contains probiotics, zero calories, no caffeine, and no sugar. Instead, the sodas are sweetened with two things: erythritol and monk fruit extract. Erythritol is a zero-calorie sweetener that is far less problematic than aspartame.
Most of the options for soda substitutions are all found in chain grocery stores or on amazon. I have taste tested every product that has been discussed and for your convenience/ entertainment have created a quick taste testing video to help you narrow down your decision. I have also included a list of links that further discuss the effects of soda and sugary drinks on your health for your reference. Enjoy your new soda swaps and feel free to comment on your favorites!