Whether you call it Soda, pop, soda pop, Coke, something else – excessive consumption of soda can is not a healthy habit to get into but it’s one that many people in America have. Studies have shown that we now drink an average of 42.2 gallons of the bubbly beverage every year – more than 1 can everyday.
But once you’re in the habit of having something cold and bubbly when you’re thirsty, it can be tough to quit drinking it.
I know that I grew up drinking soda. If I was thirsty, I’d grab a Coke, not water, milk, or anything else – it was almost always a soda. While heavily consuming soda didn’t lead to me becoming overweight as a child (fortunately, I had a high metabolism) it certainly helped me have a lot of cavities.
As an adult, however, my consumption of soda actually increased, and as a result, so did my weight. I could go for days drinking nothing but Coke – as much as 8 cans/day!
I was drinking more than my share of that 42.2 gallons/year.
Why Soda Is Bad
So why would you want to give up soda anyway? It does taste good, but that’s about the only good thing it has going for it.
It’s pretty much just sugar water with caffeine and other chemicals mixed in. Drinking simple sugars like high fructose corn syrup (the sweetener used in soda) can lead to obesity. For example, a 12 oz can of Coke has 140 calories. Drink a single can of Coke every day and that’s an extra 980 calories/week. To burn off those calories you’d have to walk an extra 2 hours per week or do an hour of high intensity running.
And since most people don’t have just one, those calories add up in a hurry adding unwanted pounds in no time.
But its contribution to obesity isn’t the only problem with soda. Dentists have known for years that it’s bad for teeth, and if you have a lot of cavities the first thing they’re likely to ask you is how much soda you drink and if you do drink a lot, they’ll tell you to cut way back.
And if you think that switching over to diet will help, keep in mind that even diet soda can damage tooth enamel.
Of course it’s not just bad for teeth. It’s also dehydrating. Stop drinking soda and start drinking water and you’ll be amazed how just that one little thing can make a big difference in your endurance.