Over the past few decades, soda consumption has continued to rise in the United States. Soft drinks are now the most popular beverage in the U.S. – almost three times more popular than bottled water, milk, or even coffee.
Studies show that ⅔ of children and ½ of adults are drinking at least one soda per day with 48% of Americans downing more than 2.5 glasses per day. This means the average person consumes 45 GALLONS of soda each year.
While sipping down can after can of sweet-tasting soda may satisfy your taste buds, or the taste buds of your children, the long-term health consequences are VERY important to be aware of.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain/obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, nonalcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis.”
And that’s not all.
Soda is so acidic it negatively affects your digestive system, causes acne, increases acid reflux, and wears away your tooth enamel as it contributes to painful cavities.
If this isn’t enough to make you put down that soda can, drinking soda has been shown to shorten telomeres, which takes years off your life! As telomeres shorten, many unwanted health conditions kick in…like inflammation, tissue damage, skin wrinkling, organ malfunction, and overall “feeling old”.
Drinking soda is aging you, making you sick, and shortening your lifespan. Thankfully, there is a delicious and healthy alternative. Read on!
Concerning Soda Statistics
- 111 million adults and 147 million children guzzle down one or more sugar-sweetened beverages every single day.
- 7.5 billion gallons of soda are consumed each year.
- One soda per day increases your risk of diabetes by 26%.
- Research has shown that drinking 20 ounces of soda each day can shorten your lifespan by 4.6 YEARS.
- Women who drink one can of soda per day have a 75% higher risk of developing gout than those who rarely consume soda.
- After 6 months of daily soda consumption, fatty deposits are increased in the liver by 150%, which directly causes both diabetes and heart disease.
- Drinking 4 cans or more of diet soda each day increases your risk of depression by 30%.
- Drinking two servings per day of diet soda can cause a 30% decrease in kidney function.
- Drinking one diet soda per day may increase your risk of stroke and dementia by threefold compared to drinking less than one per week.
10 Negative Health Effects Caused By Drinking Soda
1 – WEIGHT GAIN
Obesity is running rampant in the U.S. costing the country more than $1 trillion per year in medical-related obesity problems. The obesity rates for adults have more than doubled, for adolescents have more than tripled, and for children ages 6-11 have more than quadrupled.
Medical researchers have identified a strong link between childhood obesity and soda consumption. In one study it was identified that 12-year-olds who regularly drank sugar-based soft drinks were more often overweight than their peers. More shockingly, for each additional serving of soda the kids drank, their risk of obesity raised by 60%!
Switching to diet soda isn’t any better for your waistline either. Artificial sweeteners are proven to cause metabolic dysfunction which prompts your body to store fat. Researchers warn of a 70% increase in waist circumference for adults who drink one diet soda per day and a 500% increase in those who drink two per day!
2 – LIVER HEALTH
Some of the ingredients in soda cause calcium to leach from your bones, which overwhelms your liver, causing blockages and stagnation. When your liver is overwhelmed, it can’t process out all the toxins it is meant to handle. The toxins end up staying in your body thereby creating chronic disease states.
If this isn’t bad enough, the sodium benzoate in soda has been shown to cause DNA damage which can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver. AND, if you drink soda each day for six months, fat deposits in the liver increase by 150% due to the massive amounts of sugar in it, which directly leads to both diabetes and heart disease.
3 – HEART HEALTH
The sugar in soda has been proven to increase your insulin levels, which over time leads to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. A sobering statistic? By drinking one or two servings of soda each day, you are increasing your risk of heart attack or fatal heart disease by 35%.
Drinking diet soda is unfortunately no better, as it too has been shown by the American Heart Association to cause all kinds of cardiovascular disease.
4 – DIABETES
Soda is one of the main culprits contributing to the skyrocketing rates of diabetes in this country. Rates have tripled over the last three decades as sugary drink consumption has reached epic proportions. Soda causes fatty deposits to form on the liver, decreasing its function over time. In addition, the sugar and/or chemical sweeteners in the soda interfere with liver function, decreasing its efficiency even further. All of this has sparked an epidemic of people battling Type 2 diabetes.
Did you know that nearly a quarter of American children aged 12 to 19 have either Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes? This sad statistic is nothing to take lightly as diabetes can lead to blindness, heart failure, amputation, heart attack, stroke, liver disease, and even death.
It’s also worth noting that as you age, your body is actually less able to process the glucose in your bloodstream. Meaning, the older you get, the less you can naturally handle the influx of sugar that soda throws your way, making it even easier to develop obesity and diabetes in your later years.
5 – BONE HEALTH
Phosphoric acid, one of the ingredients in your favorite dark-colored sodas, causes calcium to leach out of your bones. Over time this contributes to weak, brittle bones creating a higher risk of fracture or breakage. Soda drinkers are at much higher risk of osteoporosis or breaking/fracturing a bone than non-soda drinkers.
In addition, the calcium flooding out of your bones overwhelms your liver, contributing to Type 2 diabetes taking hold in your body.
6 – GUT HEALTH
Drinking soda affects the health of your gut microbiome – the bacterial microcosm that is a huge part of your immune system. The sugar and artificial sweeteners in soda negatively affect the strength and function of the friendly bacteria that work to keep you healthy. This compromises your immune system, opening you up to sickness and chronic disease. As your liver is overwhelmed by the harmful ingredients in soda and can’t filter out the bacteria and toxins it needs to, you’re creating a perfect storm of sickness waiting to unleash itself inside you.
7 – LONGEVITY
Research has shown that drinking 20 ounces of soda each day can shorten your lifespan by 4.6 YEARS.
Studies have shown soda causes advanced shortening of the protective endcaps (telomeres) at the end of your chromosomes. As your telomeres get shorter, your cells stop dividing, and you age. This process happens naturally as you get older, but drinking soda unnaturally speeds it up.
Putting that soda pop down means you can enjoy an additional 5 years with your friends and family!
8 – MOOD ALTERING
Sugar crash, anyone? We’ve all experienced the energy-rich, good mood that comes from glucose and caffeine surging through our bloodstream. We’ve also all experienced the “crash” that comes afterward – which can cause mood swings, brain fog, irritability, anxiety, and fatigue.
Drinking soda stimulates the release of the mood-boosting serotonin each time you drink it, which makes you feel good…and so you want to drink it again. The problem is when you are consistently drinking soda, your serotonin can become depleted because you only have a limited supply. This then contributes to lasting feelings of depression. The sugar in soda has also been linked to inflammation in the brain. This “neuroinflammation” is also believed to contribute to depression.
While switching to diet soda may seem like the better choice to avoid sugar, the fake sweeteners are just as terrible for you. Drinking 4 or more glasses of diet soda per day has been shown to increase your risk of depression by 30%.
9 – SKIN HEALTH
One of the easiest ways to physically age yourself is by drinking a soda pop. Insulin levels spike after drinking one, causing a flare of inflammation throughout your entire body. Inflammation causes enzymes to be released which, while helping to soothe the inflammation, break down the collagen and elastin in your skin. If you want to avoid fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin, cut this destructive liquid out of your diet.
10 – BRAIN HEALTH
The sugar in commercial sodas has been shown to slow down brain function and to damage synaptic activity in the brain which stops your brain cells from communicating with each other.
Research has also shown that diet soda speeds up the aging process in your brain. The toxicity of the chemical sweeteners contributes to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and mood changes.
SODA’S 8 MOST TOXIC INGREDIENTS
We know there is nothing good about soda at this point, but let’s take a quick peek at some of its worst ingredients just to break it all down. These are some of the most common ingredients in soda:
1 – Carbonated Water
There is a misguided notion out there that drinking soda helps to satisfy your daily requirement for body-nourishing H2O because it’s 86% carbonated water. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.
We do need a lot of water for our body to function optimally, but we need clean, pure water to do so. (Ideally, spring water!) Most carbonated water is made from tap water which has all sorts of chemicals added in order to kill bacteria and other undesirable microorganisms. It is also known to contain pesticides, hormones, over-the-counter medications, birth control medications, chlorine, fluoride, nitrates, and heavy metals like lead and cadmium.
2 – Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup/Sucrose
One can of regular soda has about 8-10 teaspoons of sugar (about 39 grams of sugar). A 20 oz bottle has 15-17 teaspoons (up to 65 grams of sugar). The World Health Organization recommends no more than 25 grams of sugar per day.
Sugar has been mentioned extensively already because of how destructive it is for your body. To reiterate: Sugar causes heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, premature aging, brain changes, mood changes, and many other negative health conditions as it affects essentially EVERY system in your body. In addition, sugar has been found to be MORE addictive than cocaine so it’s actually difficult to quit drinking soda if you have a daily habit because you quite literally crave it.
Furthermore, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is made from GMO corn and there is a lot of controversy surrounding the safety of GMO foods. There are serious concerns regarding the side effects on the immune system, brain health, liver health, and cellular health.
3 – Artificial Sweeteners
Diet sodas contain sugar alternatives in the form of chemical sweeteners like aspartame and phenylalanine which are more dangerous than sugar in some ways because they put you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and dementia. And if you’re a woman, they affect your fertility and egg quality.
Aspartame is on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) list of potentially dangerous chemicals that contribute to neurotoxicity as it contains three well-known neurotoxins. It has been associated with over 92 different side effects including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, and seizures. Drinking one or more diet soda each day makes you almost 3 times more likely to develop diabetes, have a stroke, and many studies have shown strong links to cancer.
Phenylalanine is a derivative of aspartame that blocks alkaline phosphatase (IAP) which is an enzyme in your digestive system. Blocking this important enzyme contributes to weight gain and obesity.
4 – Phosphoric Acid/Phosphates
Phosphoric acid is added to regular soda and diet soda in order to preserve the beverage and prevent spoilage. It’s also added because its sharp flavor cuts the overwhelming sweetness of sugary soda. When you have too much phosphoric acid in your blood your pH is affected and you become too acidic.
Your body needs to be in a neutral pH range of 7.35 – 7.45 in order to function properly. One popular cola brand, for example, has a very acidic pH of 2.5. Drinking this is akin to drinking battery acid, which has a pH of 1.
Your body acts to counteract the acidity of soda with calcium by taking from the calcium stores in your bones. This rebalances your pH and keeps you alive, but over time you will develop weak bones.
5 – Citric Acid
Found in both regular and diet soda, non-organic forms of citric acid can be particularly harmful for your oral health, especially when combined with sugar or artificial sweeteners. This combination is so harsh that it can damage the enamel of your teeth, which then makes your teeth more able to develop cavities, discoloration, and other types of decay, including tooth erosion.
One alarming study reported that drinking 2 liters of diet soda each day for 3-5 years can create the same level of tooth erosion as that of a methamphetamine or cocaine addict.
6 – Sodium Benzoate
Used as a preservative in soda, sodium benzoate has been shown to cause DNA damage in your body, switching off vital DNA functions and triggering cell mutation. This is a contributor to cirrhosis and Parkinson’s disease.
Sodium benzoate has also been called into question in relation to Attention Deficit Disorder and enhancing or triggering hyperactivity in children.
7 – Caramel Coloring
Research reports have shown that the caramel coloring agent used in many sodas is extremely hazardous. It contains 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, which are both known carcinogens. According to Prop 65, California’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer, just 16 micrograms per day of 4-methylimidazole poses a cancer risk. Most 20 oz brown colas contain 200 micrograms.
8 – Natural Flavoring
There is nothing natural about Natural Flavoring. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says natural flavoring must be derived from real food. However, when you look into this vaguely titled ingredient further, one natural flavor can contain 50-100 compounds. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) these compounds can include synthetic solvents, preservatives, and emulsifiers. In addition, manufacturers don’t have to disclose what these 50-100 compounds are so you have no idea what you are drinking – and if it contains something you are allergic to.
The Soda Solution
So what’s the answer to all of this? How can you enjoy the flavor and mouth satisfaction associated with drinking soda without harming your body?
- Stop drinking soda and diet soda immediately. It can take about 14 days for you to stop craving the sugar/chemical sweeteners that your body is addicted to, but you can do it!
- Throw out all the soda in your house and NEVER buy another can or bottle again.
- Try Jing Soda instead!
Jing Soda has created an alternative soda line that is devoid of ALL harmful ingredients and instead is infused with superfoods and superherbs! It won’t flood your body with processed sugar, chemical sweeteners, preservatives, dyes, or additives but WILL deliver powerful healthy ingredients that satisfy your mouth and fuel your body. You can drink as much of these sodas as you like and they will only make you MORE healthy!
Enjoy these five delicious flavors by adding a squirt or two into a glass of sparkling water any time you are craving a delicious soda experience:
Bursting with mouthwatering cherry cola flavor, Reishi mushroom offers you physical/mental health and mood support.
- Health and longevity*
- Steady energy levels*
- Healthy sleep cycles*
- Immune system health*
- Reduced stress levels*
This delicious turmeric-based soda delivers superior healthy inflammatory support combined with classic orange soda flavor. (You’ll never know this has turmeric in it!)
- Healthy inflammatory response*
- Healthy blood circulation*
- Radiance of the skin*
- Immune system strength*
- Energy and positive mood*
Ginseng Lemon Lime
Mimicking the flavor of your favorite clear soda, this delicious tincture offers the zing of Ginger and American Ginseng.
- Healthy Brain Function*
- Anti-Stress and Anti-Anxiety*
- Immune System Support*
- Physical Endurance and Healthy Weight Loss*
- Hormonal Balance*
The unique, creamy, tangy cream soda flavor you love is now available as an immune-system-enhancing, stress-reducing, inflammatory-protective soda.
- Immune system health*
- Inflammatory protective*
- Skin tone and appearance*
- Energy and positive mood promoting*
- Supports kidneys, bones, and heart*
Jing Soda Reishi Cola is the best way to enjoy classic dark soda flavor while enhancing your physical and mental health.
- Antioxidant-rich, immune system ally*
- Balances energy levels and sleep cycles*
- Cardiovascular and inflammatory protective*
- Builds resilience to mental and physical stress*
Root Beer Cream
This delicious, nutritious root beer soda offers Rehmannia and Chaga Mushroom to support healthy energy levels and a rock-solid immune system.
- Healthy aging*
- Restored energy levels*
- Reduced stress levels*
- Digestive system function*
- Immune system function*
Bursting with bright berry flavor, the 5 most powerful super berries combine forces to bring you a beauty-boosting, longevity-promoting soda.
- Immune system health*
- Heart, lungs, and kidneys*
- Skin tone and appearance*
- Mental and physical stress*
- Memory and brain function*
Eliminating commercial soda from your diet and the diet of your children is one of the best moves you can make to keep your entire family healthy.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
References & Resources:
UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Health Policy Brief – Diabetes tied to a third of California hospital stays, driving health care costs higher, 2014.
Giovannucci E, Harlan D, Archer M, et.al. Diabetes and Cancer – A Consensus Report. Diabetes Care. 2010; 33(7): 1674-1685
Naryan KM, Boyle J, et. Al. Lifetime Risk for Diabetes Mellitus in the United States. AMA. 2003;290(14):1884-1890.
Narayan KM. CDC issues diabetes warning for children. ADA Meetings. New Orleans, La; June 14, 2003.
May AL, Kuklina EV, Yoon PW. Prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors among US adolescents, 1999-2008.Pediatrics. 2012; 129(6):1035-1041.
Nielsen SJ, Popkin BM. Changes in beverage intake between 1977 and 2001. Am J Prev Med. 2004;27:205-10.
Ogden CL,Yanovski SZ, Carroll MD, Flegal KM. The epidemiology of obesity. Gastroenterology. 2007;132:2087-2102.
Guo SS, Wu W, Cumlea WC, Roche AF. Predicting overweight and obesity in adulthood from body mass index values in adolescence. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002;76:653-8.
JP, Shapira N, Debeuf P, et al. Effects of soft drink and table beer consumption on insulin response in normal teenagers and carbohydrate drink in youngsters. Eur J Cancer Prev. 1999; 8:289–95.
Mayes, PA. Intermediary metabolism of fructose. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1993; 58:5, 754S-765S
Malik VS, Popkin BM, Bray GA, Despres JP, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Care. 2010;33(11):2477-2483.
Maersk M, Belza A, Stodkilde-Jorgensen H, et al. Sucrose-sweetened beverages increase fat storage in the liver, muscle, and visceral fat depot: a 6-mo randomized intervention study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;95(2):283-289.
Bleich SN and Wang YC. Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Among Adults with Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2011;34:551-5.
Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice and incidence of type 2 diabetes: systematic review, meta-analysis, and estimation of population attributable fraction
Saydah, S, Bullard, KM, Cheng, Y, Ali, MK, Gregg, EW, Geiss, L, & Imperatore, G 2014, ‘Trends in cardiovascular disease risk factors by obesity level in adults in the United States, NHANES 1999-2010’, Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 1888-1895.
Suez, J, Korem, T, Zeevi, D, Zilberman-Schapira, G, Thaiss, CA, Maza, O, Israeli, D, Zmora, N, Gilad, S, Weinberger, A, Kuperman, Y, Harmelin, A, Kolodkin-Gal, I, Shapiro, H, Halpern, Z, Segal, E, & Elinav, E 2014, ‘Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota’, Nature, no. 7521, p. 181.
Consumption of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages and incident type 2 diabetes in the Etude Epidemiologique aupres des femmes de la Mutuelle Generale de l’Education Nationale-European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort