Soft Drinks typically contain carbonation, sugar or fructose, phosphoric acid, sodium and excess calories. Unfortunately, they are often a substitute for water and other healthier fluids. Consuming softdrinks yields many disadvantages, including dehydration, high-sugar intake, weight gain and calcium depletion.
Sixty percent of your body weight is comprised of water, reports MayoClinic.com. You lose water when you sweat, urinate and breathe. For the body to continue functioning properly, you must replace the lost water with ingested fluids. Sodas are often consumed in the place of water or other hydrating fluids. Many sodas contain caffeine, which acts as a diuretic, increasing urination and leaving the body with less available fluid to carry out important functions. Additionally, some diet sodas contain significant amounts of sodium, which may draw water from the cells and promote dehydration.
High Sugar Content
Many soft drinks contain significant quantities of sugar. One 12-ounce serving of cola, for example, includes 39 grams, or 3.3 tablespoons, of sugar. Consuming such large quantities of sugar elevates your blood glucose levels and may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. Additionally, many sodas contain high fructose corn syrup or HFCS as their primary sugar ingredient. HFCS may stress the pancreas and lead to fluctuating blood sugar levels. Consuming sugary sodas day after day can contribute to the onset of non-insulin dependent diabetes, or type 2 diabetes.
Weight gain results when you consume more calories than your body burns. A 12-ounce serving of cola contains 140 calories, often called “empty calories” because they provide no nutritional value. Drinking one can of cola a day for four weeks is equivalent to ingesting 3,920 extra calories, or a gain of 1.1 pounds if the calories are not burned. A 160-pound person must walk for 27 minutes at 3.5 miles per hour to burn off the calories in one can of cola, according to the calorie-expenditure analysis provided by the MayoClinic.com. If these calories are not burned, you may gain more than 12 pounds in one year. Additionally, sweet-flavored sodas may disrupt appetite signals and promote cravings for other sugary foods.
Calcium is an essential mineral for strong bones and teeth. Consuming high amounts of phosphoric acid, a common ingredient in sodas, can deplete the calcium from your bones and decrease calcium absorption. Among women, this may lead to poor bone development or osteoporosis, a condition characterized by brittle and weak bones.