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WhatThaF's avatar

What is the real reason to why soda/carbonated drinks are unhealthy?

Asked by WhatThaF (168points) May 26th, 2009 from iPhone

I’ve read on various sites that soda eliminates calcium in your bones, in teeth, and that’s bad. My athletic friends also suggest not to.. What is true?

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19 Answers

MissAnthrope's avatar

From what I understand, something in soda leaches calcium from your bones.. can’t remember if it’s the carbonation or something else they add in there.

Additionally, all the extra sugar adds up, in terms of calories, so drinking non-diet soda regularly can really pack on pounds if you’re not careful.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Genetically modified high-fructose corn syrup and/or aspartame.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I don’t think high fructose corn syrup is any more unhealthy than sugar, although it’s certainly been demonized recently. It’s essentially just extra sugar.. my main issue is that it’s in every damn thing, you can’t get away from it.

However, chris6137 has a real point about aspartame, which should never have been made legal in the first place. Totally carcinogenic and I avoid it like the plague.

As an aside, I remember reading something about people who drink a lot of Diet Coke actually gaining weight because of all the chemicals or whatever.

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

the acid n the soda is dehydrating

YARNLADY's avatar

Per an article in Prevent Disease “The whole idea that soda might harm your bones was born from the theory that too much phosphorus could leech calcium from the body, thus increasing the risk of fracture. Because phosphorus is plentiful in many soft drink formulas, the connection between soda and weak bones was made.

There was never any scientific proof that this was, indeed, the case. But as the soft drink industry continued to blossom—soda is now considered the No. 1 beverage of women between 20 and 40 years old—researchers began to take the pseudo-scientific theories under greater scrutiny.”

The real danger in soft drinks is the sugar or sugar subsitiutes, and a secondary danger is drinking soft drinks to the exclusion of water and fortified Milk.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

There’s a litany of reasons pop is unhealthy for you. Acidic in nature, heavy sugars (which cause a host of problems in and of themselves), extremely large/hard to break down carbohydrate chains, other additives that are unhealthy.

I’ve heard that Mountain Dew is ALMOST as bad as smoking.

dynamicduo's avatar

The reason why a soda and calcium loss relation was theorized (but never proven) has nothing to do with the structure of the soda itself, it’s because people who drink soda are not drinking milk, whereas in the past one would drink milk occasionally or regularly.

The primary reason why soda is not healthy is because it’s sugar water, and our bodies have a much harder time gauging and limiting liquid calories versus solid calories. Soda is essentially empty calories, sugar and salt and a bit of other minerals they throw in to make their nutrition label look better. It doesn’t do your body very good.

Compare this to a glass of water, which has pretty much nothing in it, no calories, a clean taste. Water is what our bodies want when they tell us we are thirsty. If you become thirsty and turn to a soda, you will consume a lot of sugar and salt, which will only make your body more thirsty in the grand scheme of things. So you drink another soda… you see where this goes.

Diet soda is not much better (I’m not 100% comfortable with high amounts of aspartame), and honestly, if you’re looking for a good diet drink you can’t beat water (in fact, go with ice water for a completely negligible boost in energy burning). Try some tea for taste if you find water too bland. I honestly can’t see why anyone would drink a diet drink in lieu of water or tea… filling yourself up with all those chemicals when your body really just wants wonderful hydrating water.

I agree that HFCS is no more worse than regular sugar, our bodies process both pretty much identically. The real culprit is the fact that HFCS is EVERYWHERE, in pretty much every single processed “food”.

rooeytoo's avatar

I limit myself to one can of Coke or Sprite a day, I love it, it is my addiction. I always thought the badness comes from too much sugar. Oh well, we all have to have a couple of vices!

Bluefreedom's avatar

Carbonated drinks can be very unhealthy for you for many reasons. Here are some good articles detailing this.

Soft Drinks: Unsafe Beverages

Liquid Candy

Soft Drinks, Hard Facts

Darwin's avatar

If you happen to be prone to kidney problems, those sodas that contain phosphoric acid (this tends to include colas and Dr. Pepper-like sodas) raise the amount of phosphorus in your body so your kidneys then have to work harder to filter it out. Thus, these sodas can accelerate kidney damage.

Not all sodas contain phosphoric acid. Many, such as lemon-lime sodas and root beer, are made with citric acid. However, drinking even these sodas is not good because they replace drinks that have needed nutrients in them, such as milk and juice.

Judi's avatar

I am glad that the calcium thing was never proven, as I am hopelessly addicted. The caffeine is the really bad one for me though. I went for a day a few weeks ago without access to caffeine and I was not only suffering the worst headache of my life, I was also barfing my guts out. I was at my Mother in laws and scoured through the cupboards and found some of those tea bag coffee things, and drank a cup of coffee. I was still miserable, but I was able to get to sleep. That’s a pretty bad addiction.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Judi – I just recently switched from Coke to Sprite and I too went through definite withdrawal for a couple of days. Thankfully not to the degree you describe but hellish headaches, restiveness and irritability and I only have a one can a day habit. Caffeine is a seriously addictive substance.

The worst part is, chocolate has a fair bit of it as well – nothing is safe or sacred anymore.

Darwin's avatar

My sister used to drink something like 12 cups of coffee a day. She gradually worked herself down to only two over a period of several months because it is definitely not good to be addicted to something you might not always have in arm’s reach.

It made it much easier for her to go to places like Bhutan.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Darwin I used to be the same way, but my doctor put me on hormone medication, and my coffee consumption went all the way down to two cups with breakfast.

Darwin's avatar

@YARNLADY – I drink a grand total of one cup of coffee per week, in between church services. I work in the nursery during the first service and need the caffeine to stay awake during the sermon at the second (if only they would stop turning out the lights!).

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

the acid…........dehydration

Soubresaut's avatar

The sugar—so many empty calories!
Also about the high fructose corn syrup—it’s bad because it’s got both type of sugar, glucose and fructose, but not chemically bound like in table sugar, the glucose spikes blood sugar and makes your pancreas work extra hard for the high amount you ingest… the fructose is metabolized differently, by your liver, and again the overload can cause damage. It’s amount: the amount of fructose you get in fruit, for example, is harmles… Personally, I avoid it, but in moderation it’s probably ok.
And the diet sodas have all the artificial, chemical sugars your body doesn’t recognize… there are some health-risk claims like cancer, but the only one proven is they cause your body to crave sugar, and then store it—bad news for waist lines!

As for the whole acid rumor, think about it for a second. Your body produces more dangerous and strong acids (like the HCl in your stomach!). Aside from having aboslutely no nutritional value, and taking the place of nutritious foods/drinks, soda doesn’t ‘rob’ your body, or leech things out of your bones. By the time its molecules are absorbed into the body, you’re mainly getting sugar and the added coloring/flavors

Darwin's avatar

@DancingMind – Sodas are indeed acidic (typically around pH 3 or so) and can do considerable damage to teeth as described here. Citric acid is particularly bad. Yes, your body produces HCl in the stomach, but you don’t normally get such substances on your teeth. While the amount eroded with each soda is slight, a lifetime of soda-drinking can lead to tooth weakness.

In addition, as I said up above, those sodas that contain phosphoric acid (this tends to include colas and Dr. Pepper-like sodas) raise the amount of phosphorus in your body so your kidneys then have to work harder to filter it out. Thus, these sodas can accelerate kidney damage. The phosphorus was believed to upset bone metabolism so that calcium was leeched from bone, but it has now been shown that osteoporosis related to soda drinking is primarily due to the fact that you aren’t drinking milk.

rooeytoo's avatar

I noticed that I responded to this in May, since then I have stopped drinking full strength soda and now drink 1 can of Sprite Zero a day. I have it after dinner and I don’t seem to crave sugar after I drink it. It is more like it is the sugar or “desert” I crave after a meal.

I think it is a mental thing with me and I will try to break it as time goes on. I have pretty much eliminated all sugar from my diet and have lost weight and feel more energized.

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