In ancient times, people believed that disease and illness could be cured by drinking mineral water and bathing in natural springs. From those beginnings, the first naturally carbonated drink appeared in England around 1265. In the 18th century, Joseph Priestley discovered that by infusing water with carbon dioxide he could make carbonated water. This soon became a drink of choice around the world and later on in that same century flavors were added to the water.
In the early 1800's, the 'Soda Fountain' was introduced to the people of the United States by Benjamin Silliman, who dispensed soda using Joseph Priestly’s invention. Soda wasn't patented until 1819 but it didn't become popular until around the 1890s when it was found to be better as a soft drink than as an aid to good health. By the 1830s, large factories began producing soda fountains on the back of the success of Benjamin Silliman's invention and from that, pharmacists began to add such ingredients as birch bark, sarsaparilla, dandelion, fruit extracts, herbs and many other substances to improve the taste.
Because American pharmacists were the main vendors of soda fountains, drugstores were the obvious outlet. People liked the soda drink so much that demand grew to such an extent that the soft drink bottling companies expanded, which enabled soda to be taken home to be enjoyed.
Today, Soda drinks are popular worldwide, they include Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, 7up, Sprite and Dr Pepper - In fact, soda covers anything that is carbonated or full of sugar.
What is in Soda?
Soda is made of carbonated water and high fructose corn syrup. Carbonated water is just water that has been injected with a carbon gas which gives off the bubbles associated with fizzy drinks. Fructose is a sugar which is derived from fruit, though soda drinks are made with corn or sugar beet fructose. Soda industries don't use organically grown cane sugar in their products, instead, they use cheap white, processed sugar, and if you think that diet soda is a healthier choice, then I'm afraid you would be sadly mistaken. Diet soda is worse than ordinary soda because it contains artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, phenylalanine and aspartic acid.
Does Soda Contain Other Ingredients?
The majority of soft drinks contain up to three common acids, these are: - phosphoric acid, carbonic acid and citric acid. There are however, some flavored soft drinks with specific ingredients that may contain other acids which are less common.
Because of the high level of acidity in sodas, many dentists try to dissuade people from drinking too much because of the long-term effect on the teeth.
Why Do People Drink Soda?
People drink soda to quench their thirst, but this drink is probably the worst drink you could consume when you are thirsty. Sugary drinks create an instant sugar rush, which some people tend to think of as an energy boost.
The glucose and sucrose which are in soda, are used up pretty quickly by the body, therefore, a drop in energy soon follows. This tricks soda drinkers into believing that the energy boost has worn off, which can convince them that another soda drink is needed, and so the cycle continues.
Here is a basic explanation of what happens in the body when sugary drinks are consumed.
Around 10 teaspoons of sugar (this is 100% more sugar than is recommended as a daily dose) enters your system in the first 10 minutes after drinking a soda drink. Because of the phosphoric acid in the drink, the overwhelming sweetness is cut to stop you from vomiting.
After 20 minutes, the body will experience a burst of insulin as your blood sugar spikes and your liver tries to turn that extra amount of sugar into fat.
40 minutes on and the caffeine in the drink has been absorbed by the body, which has pushed your blood pressure up, while your liver continues to get rid of more sugar into the bloodstream.
Dopamine (a stimulant which acts on the 'pleasure' center of the brain) is released by the body within 45 minutes, this is a similar response to that of a heroin addict.
After 1 hour, magnesium, zinc and calcium are bound by the phosphoric acid in the lower intestine, and the high levels of the artificial sweeteners, increase the excretion of calcium through urine output.
The dehydrating effects of the caffeine contained in the drink will also begin to be apparent as the need to pass urine will increase. The combination of caffeine and phosphoric acid will rid your body of sodium, electrolytes and water that were meant for your bones. The result is that rather than re hydrating your body with a drink, you will experience a short sugar rush which will only result in 'crashing' your system.
Why is it so Addictive?
Why are fizzy drinks so desirable? Well to start with, they contain caffeine, which is known to be addictive, if only mildly, add to that the fact that sugar can also be addictive, it's no wonder that soda drinking is a hard habit to break, especially for those who have a very sweet tooth.
..... is Diet Soda Addictive?
Diet Soda is probably more addictive than ordinary soda, that's because the artificial sweeteners in the drink send signals to the brain to drink more. The word 'diet' also encourages the drinker to consume more because they believe it may help them to lose weight, after all, anything with 'diet' on the label must surely mean weight loss, mustn't it? Not in the case of diet soda, studies are beginning to show that excessive consumption of 'diet' soda may cause people to actually put on weight and diet soda has the same health risks as the normal soda drink.
Are Soda Drinks Harmful?
In a word, Yes. Any drink that is caffeinated, carbonated, sugary and artificially sweetened, will harm your body. Soda drinks have all of these ingredients, so cutting them out of your diet or cutting down on them, will certainly help to improve your health.
Because of the high level of acidity in sodas, many dentists try to dissuade people from drinking too much because of the long-term effect on the teeth. Sugary drinks like soda will eat away at the tooth enamel and eventually rot your teeth.
There is no vitamin or mineral value in soda drinks but the large amounts of sugar they contain will add excess calories to you diet and not only expand your waistline but will also cause internal health problems too.
Drinking soda will not only increase your weight, but it will put you at a higher risk of diabetes. This is because the excess sugar in these drinks enters the bloodstream at a great rate, causing the pancreas to work overtime to process the sugar, by secreting large amounts of insulin, which puts a strain on the insulin-producing cells.
Drinking soft drinks instead of calcium rich drinks like milk, may increase your risk of osteoporosis. Children who consume large amounts of soda such as cola, are at a significant risk of impaired calcification while their bones are still growing.
Habitual soda drinkers, mainly those who consume large amounts of cola sodas, are at risk of kidney problems, especially the formation of kidney stones, and having too many soft drinks in your diet will increase your risk of liver cirrhosis, similar to that of an alcoholic.
Soda is the most acidic drink you can consume, take coke for instance, it is only 1 point higher on the acidic scale than battery acid, and you wouldn't drink battery acid, would you? Not only that, but highly acidic drinks like coke are actually better at household cleaning than many toxic cleaning products.
New evidence is emerging over the use of Sodium Benzoate in soft drinks such as Pepsi Max and Fanta. Sodium Benzoate is a common preservative (E211), which may cause cell damage by switching off vital parts of your DNA.
Research has shown over and over again that soda drinks are harmful to our health, yet so many of us still choose to pour something akin to battery acid down our throats on a regular basis, why?
Is soda such a wonderful drink that we are powerless to stop our taste buds from desiring it? Have we been brainwashed into believing that the sweet, fizzy, taste actually quenches our thirst? Is it a habit we choose not to break because the manufacturers tell us it’s good for us?
In actual fact, soda is basically just another junk food, made up of carbonated water, sugar and flavoring. Yes, it’s OK to have the occasional soda drink if you really do love the taste, but in reality, it’s nutritionally valueless, it can only harm your health and add inches to your waistline too. However, once you have educated yourself on the harmful effects of drinking soda, you will have the knowledge and the power to decide whether or not it has a place in your diet.