What Is in Soda or Fizzy Drinks That Makes It So Addictive


Many of us enjoy drinking fizzy drinks, some may do so more than others, and stopping this habit can be incredibly difficult to do so. Nearly half of all Americans consume soda every single day, making fizzy drinks an extremely popular beverage choice. Although may ingredients within these types of drinks are deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) it does not mean that when consumed in excess they are healthy for the body, and perhaps may even cause side effects for some individuals. Familiarizing yourself with the common ingredients and their effects they have on the body may, therefore, be a wise idea for those who consume sodas regularly.

Contrary to many people’s beliefs, it’s not just the full fat versions of these drinks that are harmful to our bodies. Diet fizzy drinks can also have harmful effects and cause issues for the drinker. So, even though it may be tempting to buy these tasty drinks there are many reasons why that’s probably not the best idea.

What makes them so addictive?

Sugar or HFCS

A normal small can of coca-cola contains around 10 teaspoons of sugar, making this one of the most heavily sugared beverages out. Sugar is one of the most addictive substances within foods and drinks, causing individuals to actually suffer from withdrawal symptoms when they begin to abstain from consuming. Sugar withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, the shakes, lethargy and low moods.

High sugar consumption is also highly associated with the development of diabetes as well as many other diseases. So, is it any wonder that many of the population is now suffering from obesity?

Phosphoric acid

Phosphoric found in many fizzy drinks makes them some of the most acidic beverages available to purchase, sporting a p.H level of around 2.5. Battery acid that can eat through the skin has only a p.H level of 1, this shows the dangerous level at which most sodas sit.

Phosphoric acid when consumed regularly and in high quantities can cause a decrease in effective bodily functioning, as well as weaker bones.

Caramel coloring

The caramel coloring in many sodas such as Pepsi is created by reacting sugar with ammonia under high temperatures. By products produced by this reaction are known as carcinogens, which are extremely harmful to the body. Carcinogens are responsible for the development of cancerous tissues within the body.

Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most addictive substances found in our foods and drinks, with around 80% of Americans consuming it in some form each and every day. As caffeine is both water and fat soluble it can quickly and easily cross the blood-brain barrier meaning it can affect the body in stronger ways, causing the body to become ‘stimulated’ and then exhausted once the effects begin to wear off.

It’s tasty!

Another factor of why fizzy drinks can become so addictive is their actual taste. By being so tasty the brain becomes addicted to the sense of pleasure it feels while drinking a fizzy drink, making it incredibly hard to pass up once offered one. Many people feel as though if fizzy drinks weren’t so tasty to consume they probably would not drink them at all.

Convenience.

Although this may not be a physical factor of why fizzy drinks can become so addictive, it is an important one nonetheless. Many shops sell fizzy drinks and energy drinks for cheap prices making them easy to purchase and consume. Other alternatives such as healthy smoothies can cost anything up to double the amount of sodas, making them a less likely alternative for many individuals. Furthermore the cost of simple drinks such as water is nearly as high as a better tasting fizzy drink, giving younger people less incentive to choose healthier options.

This factors all contribute to the level of addiction that many people are experiencing today. After all, it’s hard to give up a less expensive and tasty drink, right?

Side effects of regular consumption.

Gas and heartburn.

Carbonated drinks contain carbon dioxide which causes both gas and heartburn when consumed, causing the body to expel the gas in the form of belching. As a result of belching food and stomach acid may repeat on you also, resulting in heartburn -a painful and unpleasant feeling for many sufferers.

Increased risk of obesity.

Consuming drinks sweetened with sugars and various chemicals, fizzy drinks add a large amount of unnecessary calories to your daily diet. These unnecessary calories when consumed on a regular basis can result in weight gain and even obesity in some cases.

Becoming overweight is a strain on your body and it’s natural processes, causing various health issues for many individuals. The state for your body is to be healthy, and for that to be possible you have to be, of course, the correct weight.

Poor nutrition.

Fizzy drinks will result in a negative impact

Fizzy drinks will result in a negative impact upon your daily nutrition intake, causing the body to perhaps become undernourished in some dietary areas. Those who consume sodas tend to have an overall worse intake of many vital vitamins and minerals compared to non-soda drinking individuals.

Higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

As previously mentioned in this article, fizzy drinks tend to have high sugar contents increasing the risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. By simply cutting out these unhealthy sodas you will increase your overall health and reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes.

One study conducted on the effects of fizzy drinks on the development of diabetes has shown that they contribute to around 130,000 cases of new diabetes diagnoses. This therefore shows the real risk behind consuming fizzy drinks on a regular basis.

Kidney damage.

There is a reasonable amount of evidence suggesting that sodas may increase the risk of kidney problems in regular consumers, especially the fizzy drink Coca-Cola. This is due to the acidity in these types of drinks.

Increased blood pressure.

Experts have admitted that consuming too much fructose, especially in the form of fizzy drinks, can cause an elevated blood pressure level. Therefore if you have high blood pressure currently, it may be best to ease off the fizzy drinks.

Harmful effects on the liver.

A 2009 study found that sugary drinks, such as fizzy drinks, can lead to fatty liver disease while drinking just 2 cans per day can cause liver damage.

Negative effects on the digestive system.

Due to the extremely acidic content of many sodas, there is no debate that they can harm the digestive system when consumed regularly.

Dehydration.

Another issue with fizzy drinks is the caffeine and sugar contents acting as diuretics, meaning they cause you to urinate more than usual. Urinating in high amounts causes the body to become dehydrated and more susceptible to illness.

Increased risk of asthma.

Some experts argue that consuming fizzy drinks can increase the risk of developing or worsening asthma.

Increase the risk of cancer.

Studies suggest that drinking just 2 cans of fizzy drinks per week will double the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. There’s no denying fizzy drinks contain carcinogens which are responsible for causing cancerous cells.

May potentially make the consumer violent.

Research has been conducted on teenagers who consume fizzy drinks and the likelihood of them carrying weapons or committing violent acts. The results showed that those who drink even such as small amount as 2 cans per week were more likely to become violent towards their friends.

Further results showed that teenagers who consumed 5 or more cans of fizzy drinks per week were also more likely to have smoke or consumed alcohol. Therefore fizzy drinks may be responsible for some negative actions undergone by teenager consumers.

Can change your brain functioning.

As mentioned in the last point, fizzy drinks may cause those who drink them to become more violent but also change brain functioning too. There is limited evidence suggesting that the consumption of fizzy drinks may also cause mental illness in some and hyperactivity in others.

Increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies have been conducted on mice that have found consuming fizzy drinks have negative impacts upon memory. Thus suggesting that fizzy drinks could be linked to the development of Alzheimer’s in some human individuals.

Addiction.

The topic of the article is another side effect of consuming fizzy drinks, and one that we all should be worried about. Addiction to sodas has a negative impact upon our health and should be avoided wherever possible, especially as the withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant at best.

Tooth decay.

Fizzy drinks eat up our tooth enamel and causes tooth decay in regular drinkers. Tooth decay can be expensive to fix and is best avoided.

Reduce a man’s sperm count.

Drinking too much coca-cola could have negative effects on a man’s sperm count according to a Danish study. The results showed that those who didn’t consume coca-cola had, on average, a better sperm count.

Healthier alternatives to fizzy drinks.

Squashes.

Consuming squashes is a considerably better option than drinking fizzy drinks. With many options available such as orange, blackcurrant and lime there is a flavour for everyone.

Fruit juices.

Fruit juices are also another healthier alternative to drinking fizzy drinks as they also provide the consumer with one of their five a day. However, be careful not to consume in excess as they may also cause issues such as tooth decay also.

Flavored water.

Flavoured or normal water is the best option when searching for an effective beverage. Helping to keep the body hydrated with no side effects, water is definitely the best drink for the body’s overall health and wellbeing.

Smoothies.

Smoothies can be created at home

Smoothies can be created at home, or bought pre-made in shops, providing the consumer with the benefits of multiple fruits and vegetables when drank. Creating your own smoothies can also be super fun and great for the health conscious!

Milk.

Milk is a fantastic option for those who need the extra calcium in their diet, as well as providing a tasty drink. Benefits include:

  • A great source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium and potassium.
  • Can reduce blood pressure.
  • Reduce the likelihood of depression.
  • Helps the body to build muscles.

Green tea.

Green tea is a brilliant choice for the health conscious in place of fizzy drinks with the benefits including, but not limited to:

  • Improving brain function.
  • Fat burning properties.
  • Improves physical performance
  • Various types of antioxidants, many of which could help to prevent certain types of cancers.
  • Lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and protects older individual’s brains.
  • Kills bacteria and improves dental hygiene.
  • Lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Lowers the risk of strokes.

How to stop your drinking of fizzy drinks.

Outline the reasons why you want to stop drinking fizzy drinks.

By creating a list of why you want to stop drinking fizzy drinks you will be realizing why it is important for you to follow through with your goal. Reasons may include losing weight, becoming healthier for your children or even to save money. By having these reasons written down and in front of you, this allows you to refer back to them later on if you begin to struggle with the process.

Get rid of any fizzy drinks you may have at home.

If you want to quit then do so now, there’s never a better time than today! By telling yourself you will quit after finishing what you have left you’re allowing failure before you’ve even began. Quitting fizzy drinks can be hard but really think about the effects they are having upon your body, do you really want to drink any more?

This may seem like a waste, however anything is better than harming your body. Simply give them to someone else or pour them away.

Do not buy fizzy drinks in the future, even if they are for someone else.

By having fizzy drinks in the home you are increasing temptation. If there are fizzy drinks sitting in the fridge for someone else you are much more likely to give in and ask for one. By removing from your home completely you disallow this from happening.

Choose a healthy substitute.

Choose a healthier substitute from our list above. Whenever the cravings become too much simply have one of these tasty options instead, much healthier and effective.

Carry a water bottle.

Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go, remembering to drink from it at regular intervals to avoid becoming dehydrated. If you’re not thirsty you’re much more likely to be able to avoid giving up or faltering.

Ensure you are well rested.

A well rested individual is one with a stronger sense of self-control and the capability to make better decisions.  Furthermore, this makes the need for energy and caffeinated drinks irrelevant.

Persevere.

You may begin to suffer from withdrawal symptoms after a day or two. The key is to persevere past the first week, as time goes on it will only get easier. Remember to push through and keep in mind your reasons for doing so.

So why wait?

Fizzy drinks are, no doubt, addictive beverages and can harm your body in a variety of ways. Not only do they cause you to become reliant on them, they also heighten the risk of cancers, diabetes, kidney and liver problems as well as dehydration. If you’re thinking about stopping drinking these drinks, why wait? We here at Balance Me Beautiful love to hear from our readers so feel free to comment below your thoughts about fizzy drinks.

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As always guys, thanks for reading!

By Chess Taylor.


Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.