a close up of a can with a drop of water on top

This sentence is probably not going to come as a big surprise: soda is bad for you. Most people are aware of this fact, and yet it’s estimated that nearly 50 percent of Americans still drink soda at least once a day.

One of the major problems with this, and another statement that’s probably not a surprise, is that drinking soda doesn’t just stall weight loss, it can very easily contribute to weight gain. Drinking just one can of soda per day can add 200 additional calories per day or 1,400 calories per week. Keep this up, and you’ll gain about a pound every two weeks or so.

Soda is also high in sugar and devoid of any nutrients that help keep you full or promote health in any way, which around here, we consider a losing combo.

It’s not just its high sugar and calorie count that makes soda a no-no, though. The sweet drink can damage your health in other ways too.

Increased Risk of Diabetes

A study published in the journal “Diabetes Care” reported that people who drank one to two servings of sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, each day were 26 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who rarely, if ever, touched the stuff. Drinking soda is also associated with an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome – a non-specific condition that describes a group of risk factors that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by high triglycerides, high bad cholesterol, low good cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood sugar, and a large waist.

Brittle Bones

Regularly drinking soda may also decrease your bone mineral density, which in turn, can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Most sodas contain a flavoring agent called phosphoric acid. According to Dr. Thomas Weber, who is an osteoporosis specialist at Duke University, drinking a lot of soda may expose your kidneys to more acid than they can handle. In response to this, your body needs to figure out how to neutralize the acids with substances called buffers. Calcium is a common buffer and if there isn’t enough available in your blood, your body may pull it from your bones, which weakens them in the long-run.

Bad For Your Teeth

Regularly drinking soda is also one of the most significant contributors to the development of cavities. The sugar in the soda serves as a feeding ground for the natural bacteria in your mouth, while the phosphoric acid can soften the enamel on your teeth. This two factors together can weaken the tooth structure and contribute to tooth decay.

Is Diet Soda the Answer?

It may seem like the solution to these problems is diet soda. After all, it contains no sugar and no calories, so it has to be harmless, right? Not so fast! Diet soda comes with its own set of issues.

Your best bet is to save soda for very special occasions and to switch to water instead. If its soda’s bubbles that you crave, try sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh lime or orange in place of plain flat water.

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