Many Americans drink soda everyday without giving it a second thought. However, it’s considered common knowledge that sugary drinks aren’t good for your health. And yet, each year, Americans consume an average of 57 gallons of soda per person (1). So how bad is soda? Well, let’s just say doctors aren’t divided on the subject.
Soda and Osteoporosis
Cola soda contains both phosphoric acid and caffeine. In 2006, the Framingham Osteoporosis Study examined the bone mineral density (BMD) of 1413 women and 1125 men (2). It found that daily cola intake was associated with significantly lower BMD in the hips of women, which are much more prone to bone loss than men (3).
Some studies suggest that this phenomena is caused by too much phosphorous, which can inhibit calcium absorption (4). It’s also thought that phosphoric acid in cola leaches calcium out of bones (5).
Another study suggests that drinking 330 mg of caffeine, or about four cups of coffee can cause bone loss (4). Caffeine is thought to interfere with calcium absorption and lead to calcium loss through urine.
If you suffer from osteoporosis, are over the age of 50 or have a condition which impairs nutrient absorption (such as Crohn’s disease), you should avoid soda at all cost.
Here are additional reasons why you should quit soda:
1. Extra Pounds
Two out of three adults and one out of three children in the United States are overweight or obese (6). It’s believe that daily soda consumption is contributing to this epidemic.
According to Dr. Christopher Ochner, assistant professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai,: “If everything else in their diet is equal, a person who has a can of Coke a day adds an extra 14.5 pounds per year, just from the calories alone.” (7).
Worst of all, soda consumption causes you to gain visceral fat, which gathers around your organs and increase your risk of heart disease (8).
2. Liver Damage
Sugary drinks contain large amounts of fructose, which can damage the liver in large amounts. It’s one of the leading cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
As little as two cans of Coke a day increases not only your risk of fatty liver, but also of liver failure, liver cirrhosis and heart disease (9).