This past week included World Water Day and brought our attention to the importance of clean drinking water. This past week also offered new information about the dangers of drinking sodas and why we should all quit drinking the 60 gallons of soft drink each year the average American consumes.
First there is the matter of weight; you can lose 10 pounds in a year just by drinking one less soda a day. My music video “Liquid Candy” explains this in fun way. But new information is proving sodas, regular or diet, are much worse that just weight gain.
It doubles your risk of type 2 diabetes according to a Harvard study in over 90,000 nurses, and recently in the journal Circulation, drinking one 12 ounce can daily was shown to increase a man’s chances of having a heart attack by 20% among 42,883 men followed over a 22-year period of time. Two sugary drinks a day increased the risk of heart attack by 42% and with three sugary drinks daily, the risk rose by 69%. Soda also increased blood levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein, which is a marker of heart disease (watch my video below).
But wait, there’s more! Before switching to diet soda, consider this. A separate study of 2,600 men and women found that those who drank soda regularly had a 40% greater chance of stroke or heart attack. Women in particular who drink sugar sweetened beverages are at greater risk for having high levels of fat in their blood called triglycerides – a fat that puts them at risk for metabolic syndrome. The more soda a woman drinks, the higher her risk of high levels of triglycerides.
Finally, a flavoring substance in colas, phosphoric acid, makes the blood more acidic and leaches calcium out of the bones in an attempt to balance the blood’s pH. Women who drink three colas a week have on average 4% more bone loss in their hips than woman who drink other beverages, including non-cola sugary drinks and sodas.