Soft drinks may taste good and regardless of what brand you buy they contain no nutritional value. There are many health risks associated with drinking soda. Soda contains caffeine (unless they are decaffeinated), carbonation and sugar or sugar substitutes that are very harmful to your health. Studies indicate that consuming soft drinks can lead to nutritional deficiencies, tooth decay and diabetes.
Let’s look at the ingredients in most sodas:
- Carbonated water (plain water infused with carbon dioxide
- Caramel color (natural additive to create color)
- Natural flavors (often citrus flavors for added taste)
- Caffeine (diuretic and stimulate that can be addictive)
- Phosphoric acid (chemical that adds tangy or sour flavor by breaking down starch to sugar)
- High-fructose corn syrup (no nutrition, lots of calories)
Carbonation and phosphoric acid can decrease your blood calcium levels which will increase your risk of osteoporosis. Calcium is important in order to maintain healthy bones and muscles, you’ll find that with less calcium in the body, your bone mass and density will suffer.
Caffeine is a diuretic which means it causes your body to become dehydrated due to your kidneys having to work harder to push out extra liquid from your body. Caffeine can also decrease the calcium in your body, as well as stimulate your central nervous system, causing stress, a racing mind, insomnia, and the jitters. Caffeine is very addictive, so when you drink more, you generally crave more over time. The more caffeine you consume the more potential health problems you’ll encounter.
What about diet soda?
Most people grab the case of diet soda thinking less sugar is healthier and it will help them stick to their diet. This thinking is far from the truth. In reality sugar-free beverages are definitely not better for you in fact they will actually hinder your dieting.
Because most diet sodas are non-calorie drinks, this basically tricks your judgment for calorie intake, and because you think that you’re drinking something that’s better for you than the alternative (regular soda), you’re subconscious tells you its ok to eat more.
If you’re on a gluten free diet your main objective is to eat healthy in order to restore the damage that years of gluten intake has done. My advice to you would be to minimize your intake of foods that have no nutritional value like soda and maximize your intake of foods that have a high nutritional value.