Plenty of people enjoy drinking carbonated beverages, but they’re truly very bad for you (yes, even diet sodas!). Between carbonation, chemical-y ingredients, and addictive qualities, it’s hard to choose what’s worst about sodas. Luckily, we don’t have to pick just one.
1. They’re habit-forming.
Sodas often have high-fructose corn syrup, sugar and caffeine, among other things. All of these components are habit-forming, and can lead to addictive tendencies in longtime soda drinkers. Sugar addiction is a real problem because the brain treats sugar as a reward. People who are addicted to sugar have a hard time giving it up because of this reward association, and can therefore really overdo it when consuming sugar and sugary drinks like sodas.
2. They destroy your teeth.
We’ve all heard that sugar can destroy your teeth, but for those of you who enjoy diet sodas, I have bad news for you: those can hurt your pearly whites too. While full-sugar pops can cause decay, diet sodas and sugary ones alike are acidic which can harm enamel. Similarly, both can contribute to yellowing of the teeth, making those pearly whites less white and more…yuck. These deep stains are hard to get out and can’t be reversed by routine brushing.
3. They lead to weight gain.
Of course the high-fructose corn syrup and sugar in regular sodas can make you gain weight, which we all know can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. But did you know that diet pop can too? The artificial sweeteners used in these drinks actually make you crave sugar. By trying to trick your body into thinking that the calorie-free pop is actually laden with sugar, you actually make it hard to avoid the real deal later on in the day.
4. They cost a lot of money.
It can certainly seem like you’re getting a good deal at the grocery store or vending machine, but those bucks really add up, especially for those who enjoy sodas multiple times a day. However, water is a heck of a lot cheaper and, obviously, much healthier than pop.
5. They lead to major environmental issues.
You know the ads: a turtle or sea lion is killed because an intact sheet of plastic six-pack rings from cans of soda was dumped into the ocean. And that’s not the only environmental issue! Cans and bottles from pop add up to a tremendous amount of waste and require huge amounts of limited resources to produce.