Soda or Soft drinks are defined as nonalcoholic beverages (as opposed to hard drinks which are the alcoholic drinks), and carbonated soft drinks are classified as soda pop, or in some areas simply sodas or pop. Soft drinks consist mostly of carbonated water mixed with sugar or an artificial sweetener, plus various natural or artificial flavorings, and coloring agents. Many contain caffeine.
Nutrient Content: Apart from a quick energy boost from the caffeine or sugar, most soft drinks and soda pop offer little or no nutritional value. An 8-ounce cola contains about 100 calories; a diet soft drink, because it is artificially sweetened, is virtually devoid of calories, although it may have caffeine.
- Carbonated drinks are refreshing and may provide a quick energy boost from their sugar or caffeine.
Dangers of Drinking Soft drinks or Soda:
- Soft drinks contain caffeine, a stimulant which prompts the body to release cortisol which in turn triggers the release of insulin. Over time caffeine will make your body resistant to insulin so that it turns glucose straight into fat and stores it around your belly. In research it was estimated that caffeine decreases insulin sensitivity by 15% in people without diabetes. In adults, excessive caffeine may raise blood pressure and cause irregular heartbeats. People who react to caffeine should choose one of the decaffeinated soft drinks that are available.
- Caffeine also increased the levels of free “bad” fatty acids in the blood and also levels of the hormone adrenaline.
- Caffeine may cause behavior and development problems in children.
- A high intake of sugary drinks adds empty calories that can add to weight problems.
- Soft drinks can also cause dental problems because their sugar encourages the growth of cavity-causing bacteria; in addition, many contain acids that can erode tooth enamel.
- Soft drinks contain large amounts of phosphorus, which interferes with the absorption of calcium and may impair bone and tooth development in youngsters who regularly consume them in large amounts.
- Soft drinks and soda pop is not harmful if consumed in moderation. The danger is that if taken regularly in large amounts, they may satisfy hunger and take the place of essential nutrients in the diet.
- Don’t be misled by the names of fruit-flavored drinks. On close reading, labels will disclose that non-carbonated fruit drinks often contain less than 10% fruit juice while harboring large amounts of sweeteners and dyes.
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