Pacific Family Practice Blog

How Big a Deal Is Soda Really? Find Out How Soft Drinks Affect Your Body

Posted on September 8th, 2015 by Pacific Family Practice in Primary Care

How Big a Deal Is Soda Really?

You’ve heard it before: “Soda is bad for you.” Yet has that stopped you from drinking it? Probably not. There are hundreds of studies from the past decade that correlate soda intake to health risks like diabetes, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure and kidney damage.

Unfortunately, these studies (although factual) are perhaps too common for the average American, and thus their impact on our health is lessened because hearing that we shouldn’t drink soda – or at least as much of it – is something we hear all the time.

At Pacific Family Practice, we want our patients truly to understand how their health can be affected by what they choose to eat and drink – including soda, which is why we’ve outlined how soft drinks affect your body.

Soda affects your weight.
Soda does not skimp on sugar content or calories – two things that can affect your weight. Having a soda every so often may not impact your waistline, but having one or two cans of soda a day is highly common for many Americans seeking a caffeine lift or a beverage to accompany a meal. Replacing your daily soda with water or tea can go a long way toward reducing the amount of sugar you consume each day.

Soda can become a craving.
Coffee drinkers can relate to that feeling many people experience around 3:00-4:00 p.m. each day – you start to lag. For those who treat this feeling of fatigue with soda, the relief may be rather short-lived. Sugary soft drinks can raise your energy levels for a short time, but experiencing a crash is pretty common. The energy boost soda offers is pretty short-term when compared with the energy release from fruits, vegetables and snacks like nuts. Your body can begin to crave sugar every day, even becoming dependent on that 3:30 p.m. soda.

Soda is everywhere – and that’s not a good thing.
Soda is incredibly easy to come by – grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, amusement parks, vending machines and just about anywhere else where you can purchase a drink. Restaurants, movie theaters and malls are particularly troublesome, with use of excessively large cups that are often free to refill and cheaper than other smaller-sized beverages. Just because you have access to soda doesn’t mean you should partake. In addition to obesity and the other health risks listed above, soda is a frequent culprit in tooth decay – even if your soda of choice is diet or sugar free.

Drinking soda is a tough habit to break, which is why, unless your health is currently at risk, most doctors will recommend that you simply learn to cut down on soda intake before striving to eliminate it entirely. It’s important to be realistic while setting health goals – and cutting out one soda a day is a great place to start.

Contact the providers of Pacific Family Practice to learn more about nutrition and preventative medical care.

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