You Should Really Stop Drinking Soda

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Trust me, you don’t want what’s going on between those bubbles.

When I was a kid, I was the definition of a soda achiever. I had it with lunch, with dinner, or just whenever the interest struck me, and not the light stuff like Sprite, either; I’m talking full cans of Mountain Dew. Frankly, it’s a miracle I still have any teeth. I’ve almost entirely sworn off the stuff these days, and if you haven’t done so yourself, you really ought to. Besides the obvious negative impacts to your teeth and the caffeine jitters, soda is pretty much universally awful for you.

Studies show that regular consumption of soda can have multiple nasty side effects on your digestion system. Soda is the textbook definition of “empty calories,” sating short-term sugar cravings without actually filling your stomach. Not only can all that sugar lead to sudden weight gain, mostly in and around the stomach, but drinking it can actually make you more hungry. This is true for both naturally and artificially sweetened sodas, though the latter case is even worse. High levels of the particular artificial sweeteners typical found in commercial soda are associated with an increased risk of stroke due to the damage they can potentially cause to your arteries.

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If you find yourself having difficulty getting off of soda entirely, that’s actually not unusual. The particular blend of sweeteners and flavors in soda have been proven to induce addiction-symptoms in those who over-indulge in it. In studies where those who drank soda regularly stopped for a few days, they exhibited exhaustion, headaches, malaise, and more, which just shows how much the stuff became wired into their bodies.

Much like with alcoholic drinks, a soda once in a while with a meal isn’t a big deal. But the rest of the time, stick to cleaner, natural drinks like water and fresh juice. You’ll be glad you did when your teeth don’t rot out of your head.