SODA is one of those things that once you start having a few, it becomes hard to resist. In fact, for a number of reasons, including the convenience or the sudden burst of energy you feel after downing your favourite bottle of fizz, sodas enjoy a special spot in many people's diets.
And while an occasional bottle may not be cause for concern, consuming large quantities of the sugary, calorie-filled beverages regularly could wreak havoc on your body. Not to worry, though, two experts — internist Dr Samantha Nicholson and nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant — say giving up the habit of soda drinking can do wonders for your body.
Less sugar intake will result in less fat, especially abdominal
Dr Nicholson said that it is best to substitute your soda consumption with water. What happens when you drink sugary drinks is that they digest quickly, which will result in your blood sugar rising almost immediately after consumption. This is soon after followed by your blood sugar crashing, which increases your hunger levels. If sodas are replaced by water, then these spikes and crashes can be avoided, which will reduce your demand for food.
Improved bone health
When you stop drinking soda, another benefit Dr Nicholson notes is that you will see an improvement in the health of your bones. She explained that people who are heavy soda drinkers are less likely to get enough calcium from their diet. In addition, the phosphate contained in sodas can negatively affect bone health. People with conditions that affect the bones, such as osteoporosis and arthritis, often retain bone density and enjoy better bone health when soda is absent from their diets.
You will lower your risk of diabetes
Artificial or added sugars such as fructose and sucrose, which are found in soda, have been linked to the development of type-two diabetes. According to Dr Nicholson, added sugars, when consumed in high quantities as is the case with habitual soda drinkers, put stress on the pancreas, which leads to insulin resistance and in turn diabetes. Research shows that as few as two sodas per day can increase this risk, especially when you are predisposed.
You will be more hydrated/less stress on your kidneys
Many people drink soda to quench their thirst simply because they don't want to consume water. However, Grant said it does quite the opposite of hydrating you since soda, like coffee, contains caffeine and is therefore diuretic. So, instead of adding to valuable fluids in the body, it puts pressure on the body to source water. When this happens, then there is also increased stress on the kidneys as they work to expel waste from the body.
You will reduce the possibility of tooth decay
Your dentist always warns you to stay away from sweets; unfortunately, he/she might not have said sodas specifically. However, the amount of sugar in soda, in addition to the acid content, can eat away the enamel on your teeth. Grant said that since the enamel acts as the primary source of defence, when this is eaten away the teeth become susceptible to tooth decay. Since the enamel cannot be replaced once it is eaten away, cutting back initially is the best method of protection and prevention.