Soda lovers, listen up! We all know that drinking multiple sodas per day is a bad habit. But what should we keep in mind when we want to indulge in a Coke?
Soda and Blood Sugar
Given the 39 grams of sugar in a Coca Cola, our blood sugar levels surge leading to the release of high amounts of insulin, which brings glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells (read: gets stored as fat). This sudden drop in blood sugar is responsible for the “sugar crash.” Over time, this roller-coaster of blood sugar and insulin levels takes a toll on the body and leads to weight gain, as well as increased risk of diseases like obesity, diabetes, kidney damage, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. Even diet sodas have been linked to increased appetite, weight gain, heart disease, and stroke.
You may think you’re being healthy by only drinking one 12-ounce can per day, but the FDA recommends 50 grams or less of added sugar per day, so even just one can of soda pushes you almost to the limit.
Soda Eats Your Teeth
If that’s not enough to kick your soda habit, how about the notion that soda damages your teeth due to its acid content? There are many videos online showing soda dissolving a tooth when put in a glass for 24 hours. Obviously, when we drink soda, we don’t hold it in our mouths for 24 hours. We swallow it and our saliva dilutes and washes away some of the acid from the teeth. And with a reported 48 percent of Americans drinking soda on a daily basis, half of our country would be toothless.
However, if you drink several sodas per week, the citric and phosphoric acids in both sugared and diet soda will eventually break down tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.
Soda As Corrosive As Battery Acid?
One study showed that soda could be nearly as corrosive to your teeth as battery acid. The study, published in the Academy of General Dentistry journal General Dentistry, tested the pH of 20 commercial soft drinks. They found RC Cola was the most acidic (pH of 2.387), Cherry Coke was second (pH of 2.522), and Coca-Cola was third (pH of 2.525). To give you a frame of reference, pure water has a pH of 7.0 at room temperature and battery acid has a pH of 1.0.
If you simply can’t curb your soda habit altogether, then switch to root beer. Because it doesn’t contain citric or phosphoric acid, it has the lowest acidity level of all soft drinks (pH of 4.038). Also, drinking sodas while eating or drinking through a straw can help prevent tooth damage.