We've all heard it, and we don't want to believe it - especially when those crisp, bubbly beverages are sitting right next to us. Whether it's on your desk now or hanging out in your refrigerator, chances are, you have some soda in your life. A recent national Gallup poll found that 48 percent of Americans drink one or more glasses of soda per day - with 7 percent reporting that they drink four or more per day.
Here's why you might want to cut back on that soda (or even replace it entirely).
Bones and teeth
Phosphoric acid is a corrosive agent found in fertilizers, soaps, polishes and dyes. It's also found in Cola. (Ever heard of using Cola to clean chrome?) Generally, people who drink soda get less calcium and more phosphorous, tipping the balance of bone remodeling toward osteoporosis (bone density loss).
Sugary drinks also contribute to plaque buildup, cavities, gingivitis and (gasp) bad news from the dentist!
A Harvard study has shown that BPA (a component found in many soda bottles) may decrease fertility. This isn't just a worry for women. The aluminum in soda cans may decrease male fertility.
Sugary sodas incrementally increase blood sugar, increasing risk for dementia and interfering with the brain's ability to create memories. If you're a diet drinker, the aspartame in your soda can contribute to headaches, blurry eyes and memory issues.
The FDA has linked aspartame to severe depression. Clinical depression affects about 6.7 percent of adults in the U.S. every year. Aspartame increases this risk by up to 36 percent! If you persistently feel sad or worthless and lose interest in activities that once held interest for you, it may be time to give up the soda - and seek medical guidance.
Researchers have shown that replacing sugary sodas with water will decrease that bulge around your middle. For those who drink diet soda, a study from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center found that people who drink diet soda have a 70 percent greater increase in their waistlines than non-drinkers. Over the course of 9.5 years, those who drank frequently - two or more diet sodas per day - experienced 500 percent more growth in their waistlines than those who didn't.
University of California San Fransisco (UCSF) researchers have found that consuming 20 ounces of soda every day may take 4.6 years off of your life. Soda consumption is also linked to heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. That's worth picking up a water!
So, there you have it, folks. Soda is rotting your teeth, making you depressed and forgetful, and cutting years off your life. But don't sweat it. There are plenty of other drinks in the sea!