Sunday, September 25, 2011

Why Do We Drink Soda?

What nutritional value does soda give us?  The answer is none.  It’s basically a can or bottle filled with sugar, preservatives, and carbonation.  Look at the back of a pop can and you’ll see it contains no calcium, vitamin A, fiber, protein, vitamin C, or iron.  What it often does contain is a little sodium and a lot of sugar and caffeine.  The caffeine from soda can cause calcium to leech from our bones. 

It still surprises me that soda machines have found their way into so many schools.  Soda often contains something called high-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener.  Fructose is similar to glucose (like what carbohydrates are made of), but our bodies were not made to intake large amounts of high-fructose corn syrup.  Due to our bodies metabolizing and responding to high-fructose corn syrup differently than glucose, it’s been linked to obesity in both children and adults.  Some brands of soda are so acidic you can use them as cleaning solution.  This acidic content can cause the enamel on our teeth to slowly erode down.  The darker the soda, the more acidic it is.  Combine that with the high sugar content of the beverage and it leads to cavities. 

Because soda only has a very small amount of water in it, it really doesn’t quench a person’s thirst.  One thing soda has done is add to the obesity crisis facing the United States.  Passing on the pop is one small thing you can do to improve your health.  Next time you want soda, reach for a glass of juice or water instead.  Over time, you’ll feel better, your waistline will be slimmer, and your body will thank you.