Many Nigerians like to take carbonated drinks, popularly in Nigeria known as minerals, but are not even aware that these drinks are bad for their health. They consume carbonated drinks at work, when stuck in traffic and even when thirsty. These drinks are very tasty and so easy to get addicted to. They even taste so good that some of us drink it with every meal. Carbonated drinks are everywhere.
You can find them at every fast-food joints, supermarkets, and other checkouts. The drinks are cheap and not expensive compared to other fruit juice and milk. Most people take these drinks because it quenches thirst. However, since most of the drinks contain caffeine, and caffeine is mildly addictive hence most people have such a hard time breaking the habit of taking carbonated drinks daily. If nothing else motivates you to quit, these scary facts will.
Below are some scary facts about carbonated drinks:
# No nutrients
There are no nutritional benefits in taking soft drinks in terms of vitamins and minerals. These drinks mostly are made with filtered water and refined sugars and addictive which are preservatives and coloring.
# Increases risk of diabetes
Well, anything that promotes weight gain can also increase the risk of diabetes. Taking carbonated drinks stresses the body’s ability to process sugar. When sugar quickly enters the bloodstream, the pancreas will have to secrete large amounts of insulin for the body to process it. The unending demand that a carbonated drinker places on the pancreas may at the end make it unable to keep up with the body’s need insulin and insulin itself becomes less effective at processing sugar. Both conditions contribute to the risk of developing diabetes.
# Weak Bone / Risk of osteoporosis
When carbonated drinks are consumed frequently, it increases the risk of osteoporosis. High consumption of these drinks especially cola, in children, poses a threat of impaired calcification of growing bones. The acidity in cola promotes the loss of calcium by weakening bones. The human bones stops building up around the age 30, and start dissolving at about 8-18% each year, depending on the acidity of food intake.
# Weight gain/obesity
Drinking a single 330ml can of a carbonated drink results to 1lb of weight gain every month. According to scientific studies, carbonated drinks are directly related to weight gain. For each additional drink consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times, and intake of these drinks is strongly associated with accumulation of fat around the abdominal area. Now you know why your dress doesn’t fit!
# Kidney damage
According to research, large quantities of cola intake can enhanced kidney stone; this is due to the acidity and radical imbalances found in soft drinks. Your body will have to buffer the acidity of soft drinks with calcium from your own bones and as this calcium is passed out through urine, it slowly forms kidney stones. Drinking two or more carbonated drinks a day can risk the increase of chronic kidney disease.
# Impairs digestive system
A carbonated drink is an extremely acidic beverage with a pH of 3.4, which is the same as vinegar, but the sugar content in it covers up the acidity. The digestive system starts from the mouth and ends in the anus and only the stomach can resist an acidic condition up to pH 2.0. Before the acidity of soft drink reaches the stomach, it will pass through all the other organs that make up the digestive system thereby causing an abnormal acidic situation. The pharynx, linings of the mouth and esophagus are extremely sensitive to acids. In other words, the phosphoric acid found in a soft drink competes with the hydrochloric acid of stomach and disrupts its functions. If the stomach is ineffective, food will remain undigested resulting in gas, indigestion, or bloating (swelling of stomach).
# Increase in dental caries and erosion
Carbonated drinks dissolve and eat up the tooth enamel. These drinks are responsible for increasing tooth decay. The acid in these drinks can dissolve the mineral content of the enamel, this make the teeth weaker, more prone to decay, and very sensitive. In fact, the sugar found in soft drinks is even worse than the sugar found in candies. It is advisable to reduce the soft drink intake, especially between meals, so as to prevent dental erosion and tooth decay. A tooth was placed inside a bottle of Pepsi and it dissolved in 10 days, this is shocking as teeth and bones are the only human organs that remain intact years after death.
# Aspartame side effects
Manufacturers of diet drinks substitute sugar with aspartame and some other sweeteners so as to give the drinks that sugary taste without the calories. However, these sweeteners could be more deadly than the normal sugar. Aspartame is one of the most controversial FDA approvals in history. The side effects linked to these addictive ranges from chronic fatigue, headaches, seizures, cancer and depression.
# Increase in blood pressure
It is believed that over-consumption of fructose, especially in form of carbonated drinks, leads to an increase in blood pressure. An increase in blood pressure leads to other serious conditions that could land you in the emergency room.
# Faster aging
The chemical added in both diet and regular soft drinks, to extend their shelf life may shorten one’s life. Studies have also shown that there are also other health risks associated with taking carbonated drinks. These are the risk mental health problems, the risk of developing hypertension, the risk of elevation of uric acid levels, the risk of asthma, lung disease and others.
There are many other healthy alternatives. These are include water (which is the best drink in the world), tea (either green, black or herbal tea all of them are rich in antioxidants, unsweetened cocoa, 100% fruit juice and pure fruit smoothies. The antioxidants and nutrients from these healthy drinks protect your body from many health problems.