Is it possible to break your heart with a can of soda? A study of about 42,000 middle aged men found that a 2 200ml of soft drinks each day was enough to increase the chance of having a heart failure by 23%. In this article, let us discuss how you were able to increase your risk of heart failure by 20%, by just drinking even a can of cola a day.
In fact, the study has fueled growing concerns that sugar has become a contributing factor to a number of health problems, because it included fizzy drinks, sweetened fruit squash, and other drinks with added sugar or artificial sweeteners. The study did not include natural fruit juice.
In the study, the men were tracked over a period of 12 years. The findings suggest that sweetened beverage consumption could contribute to a heart failure development.
Before this study, experts linked the sweetened drinks to changes in the blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Don’t you think they are enough reasons to stop or limit your intake of sugary or artificially sweetened sodas?
The life of patients with heart failure are severely limited in their ability to perform daily tasks. They get short of breath for even small efforts, such as walking one block, or sometimes even walking inside their house. Many of them even have shortness of breath at rest, while they were lying in bed and often wake up at night, with shortness of breath.
They experience swelling of their legs and chest pains. You can say they developed a severe impairment in the quality of their life. Heart failure is so serious that less than 50% of patients live five years after their initial diagnosis and less that 25% are alive at 10 years.
Diet sodas might seem a smart beverage choice, because it was advertised as calorie free, but it has been actually associated with incidences of higher blood pressure. If diet sodas have become your beverage of choice in the past, then maybe it is high time to think about what they can do to your body and reach for an alternative drink. Plain water would do!
The University of Miami and Columbia University researchers both found at the end of a 10 year study that the daily diet soda drinkers were more likely to have had a stroke of heart attack, or to have died from vascular disease. The results were published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
In the study, both the regular and diet soft drinks were linked with certain, but separate, cardiovascular disease risk factors. The study gave consistent results for younger and older women.
The study shows a strong link between high blood pressure and caffeinated, carbonated cola consumption, but it doesn’t prove cola drinks can cause high blood pressure. Read behind the words!
What seems to cause this?
Caffeine is a mild stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and many soft drinks. Too much caffeine can cause nervousness and jitters. It may also increase your blood pressure.
The amount of caffeine in 2 to 3 cups of coffee can raise the systolic pressure 3 to 14 mm Hg and diastolic pressure 4 to 13 mm Hg in people with high blood pressure. For those who do not consume caffeine on a regular basis, it can cause a temporary sharp rise in the blood pressure.
Exactly what causes this spike in blood pressure is still unknown. Some researchers suggest that caffeine narrows the blood vessels by blocking the effects of adenosine, a hormone that helps keep them widened.
Caffeine may also stimulate the adrenal gland to release more cortisol and adrenaline, which also causes your blood pressure to go up. For years, people have wondered whether caffeine raises blood pressure in older women.
In a 12 year old study involving 155,000 women, it was determined that drinking caffeinated colas may be associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure.
If you drink any kind of soda or sweetened drinks, the best and easiest thing you can do to stay young is to switch to pure water once and for all.
The sugar and the phosphoric acid found in most sodas have an acidic effect on the body, thus lowers your cellular pH and voltage. Soft drinks have too much sugar and phosphorus.
An increasing number of studies are showing that the phosphoric acid added to colas for its tangy taste causes premature aging. The human body phosphorus balance influences the aging process.
Drinking sodas upset this balance. The result is accelerated aging, shriveling of the skin and muscles, and damage to the heart and kidneys.
This is the first time I hear about this. Drinking sodas can cause damage to your liver. A consumption of too many soft drinks puts you at risk for liver cirrhosis.
The caffeine is present in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, and some over the counter medications. It is metabolized through the liver. Excessive intake of caffeine may put people with chronic liver disease at an increased risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures.
It is possible that other xanthine found in coffee, tea, cola drinks, and chocolate could compete for the adenosine receptors leading to the detrimental effect of suppressing the compensatory increase in portal blood flow.
Do not drink tea, coffee, or cola, especially on an empty stomach, as these are the cause of infections to the liver, kidney, and intestines.
While the United States has been slow to study the effect of energy drinks on teenagers, research from several other countries has demonstrated that the side effects of consuming energy drinks can include liver damage, kidney failure, respiratory disorders, agitation, confusion, seizures, psychotic conditions, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, abnormal heart rhythms, hypertension, heart attack, heart failure, and even death.
Energy drinks are very popular and are a $5 billion market in the United States. The study published in Pediatrics finds the combination of ingredients in these drinks can have deadly effects.
According to the study, 30 to 50% of teens and young adults drink energy drinks. Energy drinks have unregulated amounts of ingredients. Caffeine is the main ingredient in most of them.
These drinks can provide 70 to 80 mg of caffeine in an 8 ounce serving, which is three times greater than the amount of caffeine found in regular cola beverages.
New Zealand reported 20 adverse events related to energy from 2005 to 2009. One young adult who regularly drank energy drinks suffered a heart attack. The researchers concluded that energy drinks have no health benefit and may put some teens and young adults at risk for serious health consequences.
Kidney stones and chronic kidney disease
Caffeine can cause bladder irritation in some people. It is also a mild diuretic that makes you urinate more often than you normally do.
Most soft drinks, particularly colas, are extremely acidic. Colas contain high levels of phosphoric acid, which is a powerful acid capable of poisoning you if not quickly neutralized.
A regular or diet cola has an extraordinarily low pH of around 2.5. A decrease of 1 in pH means multiplying the acidity by 10. A pH of 2.5 means that it would take 3,200 glasses of alkaline water with a pH of 8 or about 32 glasses with a pH of 10 to neutralize the acid in just one glass of cola.
If the body did nothing to counteract it, a single glass of cola would change the pH of your blood to 4.6, and killing you instantly. To prevent poisoning from cola or other acidic consumption, the body should neutralize the acid.
When the body’s limited supply of alkaline buffers is defeated, these toxic acidic waste products accumulate in the body, causing significant health damage. The body may use the calcium to convert the poisonous liquid phosphoric acid in colas into the more stable solid phosphates.
These phosphates may form into the more stable, solid phosphates. The phosphates may form into calcified kidney stones or calcium deposits, which can result from a urinary infection, inherited metabolic disorders, and other causes.
Many people think the kidney stones are caused by excessive calcium, but the real culprit may be the high level of phosphoric acid, which happens to be the primary ingredient of colas. Anyone with a concern about kidney stone should avoid colas.
Routine consumption of soft drink containing phosphoric acid like the colas is a risk factor for bone loss. Consuming acidic foods, such as soft drinks may also create an ideal environment for cancer to form. Animal cells survive best in an alkaline environment with a blood pH of 7.35 to 7.45.
Carbonated drinks may increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. Adolescents who consume soft drinks display a risk of bone fractures 3 to 4 times higher than those who do not.
If you are a woman, you may raise your osteoporosis risk by lowering your bone mineral density (BMD) when you drink colas. Dietary questionnaires and BMD measurements at the spine and hip of more than 2,500 people with an average age of just below 60 showed that, for women, drinking cola is linked with lower BMD in the hip regardless of age, calcium and Vitamin D intake, smoking and alcohol consumption.
On the average, the women reported drinking at least 5 carbonated drinks a week, and 4 of them are colas. The more cola they drink, either diet or regular, the lower their BMD.
Calcium intake was lower for women who drank the most cola. A low calcium, high phosphorus diet may promote bone loss. This study was published by the American Journal of Nutrition, 84, 936 in October 2006.
Heartburn and acid reflux
Caffeine can produce heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset or irritate existing stomach ulcers. In a study investigating about individuals waking up at night 2 or more times a month due to heartburn, has been found to be strongly associated with drinking carbonated drinks.
Carbonated sodas are acidic themselves. Studies have shown that consuming approximately 1 can of a 350 ml soda increases the acid level in the stomach for a period of 53.5 minutes. Just by drinking 1 can of soda a day would subject your stomach to over 19,500 more minutes of acid exposure every year.
One of the chief culprits in GERD is caused by cola and other carbonated beverages. Cola, beer and link exacerbate the reflux symptoms by stimulating acid secretion. Excessive calorie intake at one meal, high fat intake particularly saturated fat, chocolate, alcohol, and the caffeine in coffee, tea or cola have been frequently associated with GERD.
Heartburn is caused not only the reflux of acid, but is often observed after consumption of acid or irritating drinks. If you suffer from heartburn, stay away from spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, chocolate, coffee, tea, cola, friend and fatty foods, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and all types of mints. Smoking and being overweight also contribute to heartburn.
Too much colas can make you nervous, anxious or irritable. It also can worsen panic attacks and cause insomnia.
Artificial sweeteners are toxic, poisoning the brain, kidneys, digestive system, and liver. As you may have observed, so many people are addicted to soda and soft drinks, which are loaded with artificial flavors, sweeteners and sugar. In fact, the ingredients in the cola can leach the minerals from your body.
From a naturopathic point of view, the artificial sweeteners can cause a multitude of issues. They also make your body believe it’s having a sugar rush. However, when your body tries to counteract the high level of sugar, nothing happens.
It makes the body struggle to understand what’s going on. This causes stress. Still, the body continues to produce more substances to lower your blood sugar, with the brain still thinking and retaining the message that the sugar levels are too high. This state can carry on for hours until the artificial sweetener leaves your body.
The artificial sweetener in diet soda is called aspartame, which is also sold under the brand names Equal or NutraSweet. These chemicals affect the nerves and have been shown to lead to migraine headaches, nervousness, and even seizures.
Heavy soft drink consumption can interfere with your body’s metabolizing of iron and diminish nerve impulse transmission.
A 2004 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who drink one sugary soda a day double their risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to women who drink less that one a month.
The average can of soda is roughly 20 ounces and contains 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar and more than 240 calories. They usually serve as an addition to the daily calorie intake, rather than a replacement. One sugary drink a day can totally destroy your quality of life sooner.
Strong evidence indicates that sugar sweetened soft drinks contribute to the development of diabetes. A similar risk is seen with the fruit drink consumption.
Not only do soft drinks cause cavities due to the high sugar content, but they also erode tooth enamel. The phosphoric acid, which is present in most sodas, causes tooth enamel erosion, even with minimal exposure.
Most dentists report teen patients whose patients front teeth are completely eroded by the acids in sodas. The phosphoric acid found in soda can damage your teeth.
The inherent acids and sugars have both acidogenic and cariogenic potential enamel erosion. The dental erosion is the situation of a chronic loss of dental hard tissue that is chemically etched away from the tooth surface by acid and/or chelation without bacterial involvement.
Accordingly, the clinical manifestations and diagnosis of diseases caused by soft drinks should be regarded as a combination of erosion and caries, and clinicians should pay more attention to it. Extensive consumption of soft drinks can result in dental erosion and rampant caries.
Diet sodas, 100% citrus fruit juices and other sugar free drinks can be surprisingly bad for your teeth. Most people know that drinking sugary drinks can cause tooth decay, but another cause of cavities is the dental erosion that occurs when teeth are exposed to acid.
Phosphoric acid, citric acid, and tartaric acid are some of the ingredients in diet sodas and fruit juices that damage teeth. Although they often contain no sugar, diet sodas usually cause about the same amount of dental erosion as regular sodas.
Studies have concluded that every can of soda you drink per day increases your risk of being overweight. Consuming lots of fructose will cause more cells to turn into belly fat.
Drinking soda and other energy drinks are a major cause of obesity in children and teenagers. The dramatic rise in the soft drink consumption coincides almost exactly with the significant increase in obesity rates.
The taste and flavor of soft drinks make you addicted to them. When you drink these sweetened sodas, you get extra calories. The excess calories are being stored in the body as fat leading to weight gain.
Do not forget that energy drinks also have lots of sugar. So, you may want to avoid them if you intend to lose weight.
Overall, the rate of high calorie, low nutritional beverage consumption has increased, which has aided the obesity epidemic.
Men who drink a quart or more of sodas a day lower their sperm counts by 30%. Women who drink just one diet cola a day increase their risk of miscarriage by 38%, and four or more colas a day increases the risk by up to 78%.
Drinking caffeinated drinks may reduce fertility and may also be linked to miscarriages. While studies indicate that coffee drinking can inhibit reproductive health, other products that contain caffeine (dark chocolate, instant coffee, pain relievers such as Anacin and Excedrin, and tea and cola) are also not recommended.
Drinking just one cup of coffee daily can decrease your chance of conceiving by half, because caffeine delays conception. Women who drink caffeinated beverages are 3 times as likely to have difficulty conceiving within one year as those who don’t drink them.
The 1993 study found men have problems with sperm count, sperm motility, and other sperm abnormalities. The more a man drinks coffee, the more his sperm health may be affected.
Also remember that coffee isn’t the only source of caffeine. The other main sources of caffeine are tea, cola drinks, chocolate, hot cocoa, energy drinks, and medications.
Are you addicted to colas?
One of the best decision you can have now is to cut soda and completely avoid sweets. This includes diet drinks so you can successfully break the addictive cycle. Being hooked to it gives more problems than mere satisfaction.
Caffeine is addictive and can be habit forming. An abrupt decrease can cause withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, irritability, and nervousness. This usually resolves after several days.
Caffeine is a traditional part of virtually every culture. Whether it’s consumed in the form of coffee, tea, or cola drinks, nearly everyone has experienced the uplifting sensation of caffeine. Recently, caffeine has been added to a variety of sports drinks, gels, and even bottled waters for its energizing effects.
Caffeine is rapidly absorbed by the body and remains in circulation for more than 7 hours. Plasma concentrations reach a peak 1 hour after it is consumed. It is then slowly metabolized, with a half life of 4 to 6 hours.
There is a large variation among individuals in the response to a given caffeine dose. For some, a small amount can cause jitters and sleeplessness, while others can consume large doses without any negative effects. The precise reason of this variation is unknown.
Caffeine can also interfere with iron absorption, so don’t drink coffee or regular tea with your vitamins or supplements.
The question should then be, are you addicted to caffeine? Caffeine is found in
- Regular coffee
- Black tea
- Green tea
- Some soft drinks
- And over the counter pharmaceuticals
Here is what makes things more interesting. Chocolate contains caffeine too, and you can’t cheat by switching to organic dark chocolate. It does have less sugar than milk chocolate but its percentage of cocoa solids will be higher, making the caffeine effect even stronger.
About the author:
Shirley Chio truly cares about the people she loves and did this research to understand more what drinking soft drinks and energy drinks can do to the human body and the quality of life of the person. Enjoying what our environment can offer, fast foods, colas, energy drinks, juices, and processed foods, doesn’t mean we can also enjoy what they bring us with regards to our overall health. If you want to be happy living, you may want to stop drinking colas and just live simply – drink water!
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