Soda Addiction: The Other Side of a Popular Summer Beverage

Around the globe, millions of individuals gobble up cans and bottles of soda each day. Some crave the fizzle of a carbonated drink, others stock up on easily accessible caffeine to stay awake while others only drink for the fun of it on a sunny day. Whatever the reason, close to half of the entire American population (48%) consumes an average of 240 pints of soda each year (Saad, 2012).

The one thing most Americans crave on a hot afternoon is unanimously a cold soda. That and the need to get high on caffeine and sugar are pretty much the only reasons many people take sodas. When consumed sparingly, sodas can help fulfill daily calorie requirements and also provide an energy boost at the time of need.

Otherwise, sodas are unhealthy for the most part, with a combination of ingredients that can pose significant health risks when taken without moderation. Some of these ingredients and their effects on health are described below.

High Fructose Corn Syrup or Sugar

A 330ml can of soda contains about 35g of salt or about 7 teaspoons of sugar. The reduced sugar variant of Cola contains about half that amount in the same can. The negative effects of excessive sugar consumption (usually above 25g per day) are well-known. Excessive sugar, especially fructose, has been associated with:

– Liver damage and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,

– Insulin resistance leading to overweight and obesity,

– Classic metabolic syndrome and associated disorders, including diabetes,

– Sugar feeds cancer cells, making them spread more vigorously,

– Heart and kidney disease stemming from high uric acid levels.

Phosphate

Phosphoric acid is another major component in soda and is partially responsible for making soda what it is. This compound introduces high levels of acidity in your body. Over time, calcium phosphate is drawn from bones in your body to neutralize this acidity, putting you at risk of brittle bones and osteoporosis.

Natural Coloring

Most major cola manufacturers, including Coke and Pepsi, use caramel color as a coloring agent in their sodas. One of the by-products of the chemical synthesis of caramel color, 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), has been shown to be carcinogenic in humans (Smith et al., 2015). Yet, sodas continue to be sold with this cancer-inducing chemical right under FDA’s nose.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant that is popularly found in coffee, tea, sodas, and a number of other beverages. Caffeine works by mimicking adenosine, a neurochemical that slows down intercellular activity between nerve cells, making you tired and ready to sleep. Caffeine binds on to adenosine receptors, blocking adenosine and making cells more active, resulting in caffeine “highs.”

Caffeine can also be habit forming in high doses. When soda is abused, the body gets used to increasingly higher doses of caffeine and acts out whenever it doesn’t get its regular shot of caffeine. Acting out is normally in the form of withdrawal symptoms, which often include nausea, agitation, brain fog, nervousness, depression, vomiting, muscle aches, tiredness, anxiety, hot and cold sweats, and an unmistakable headache.

Coming off Soda Addictions

Luckily, unlike other addictive drugs, you can easily beat your addiction to caffeine. All you need is an enabling environment that will keep you away from sodas, a clear mindset, some healthy alternatives to soda, and one or more supplements and herbs that will help nurse your body back to sobriety.

One good alternative to help break Caffeine Addiction is: Caffeine Support, a natural supplement that contains a delicate balance of herbs, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals to help repair and maintain different components of your nervous and immune systems. For instance, it contains Vitamin B6, a vital component for the synthesis and maintenance of neurotransmitters. Herbs like organic Rosemary, Siberian ginseng, and Willow Bark, which make up part of the ingredients in Caffeine Support, help improve headaches, fight depression, and improve cognitive abilities.



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