Why you should give up soda immediately?Most sodas have caffeine which has a number of detrimental effects on the body such as high blood pressure, heart palpitations, migraines, breast tenderness, urinary problems, and this is just the beginning. Want to hear more bad news about soda.

One can of regular soda holds approximately 33 grams or 10 teaspoons of sugar. Can you imagine how much insulin your body needs to make to combat the excess sugar? Over time, this has disastrous consequences, often leading to obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and heart disease.

Within 45 minutes of gulping down a single 20-ounce glass of soda, caffeine from the drink is fully absorbed, and as a result, your pupils dilate and blood pressure rises. The body produces more dopamine, which stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain, just like a low-grade line of cocaine. Wow! Sugar is actually more addictive than certain illicit drugs out there.

Caffeine and sugar aren’t the only things your body won’t agree with after drinking soda. There are also things like high fructose corn syrup, phosphoric acid, and caramel coloring.

High fructose corn syrup is found in most sodas and is manufactured using trace amounts of mercury. And the caramel coloring that is added is carcinogenic, meaning that it is linked to cancer.

Soda has phosphoric acid which antagonizes calcium, leading to osteoporosis, bone loss, kidney failure, heart damage, and dental decay. It is also responsible for accelerated aging and wrinkling of the skin. Yuck, who wants that in this day and age of trying to preserve youthfulness?

Sodium benzoate is added for use as a preservative and for control of microbial growth in cans. The added sodium antagonizes potassium and is responsible for asthma, eczema, hives, insulin resistance and so much more.

Aspartame, found in most diet sodas is typically used as the sugar substitute, which ironically is more harmful than sugar: aspartame may be incredibly toxic, and has been associated with everything from cancer to mood disorders.

Additionally, artificial sweeteners do not break down in the body. So what happens? It enters water supplies. Scientists in Switzerland tested wastewater treatment plants, rivers, and lakes, and found alarming levels of sucralose, saccharin and acesulfame K.

Forget about beer belly, you can also get diet soda belly. Researchers from the University of Texas Health Center followed 475 adults over ten years. They noted a 70 percent increase in waist circumference compared to non-soda drinkers. Those who consumed two or more diet sodas daily resulted in a whopping 500 percent increase in weight size. And we wonder why America ranks as one of the most obese nations in the world. Between soda and fast foods and a sedentary lifestyle, it is not tough to guess why.

Soda cans have bisphenol A (BPA), which prevents acids from reacting with metal. BPA is linked to altering hormones, obesity, many types of cancer and infertility. And you think switching from soda cans to plastic bottles is a better choice then? Think again. Plastic bottles and non-recycled plastic caps cause widespread damage to sea and wildlife, especially birds. The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is a mass of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean and is responsible for thousands of animals dying each year unnecessarily and sadly due to human ignorance.

A potential carcinogen called 4-methylimidazole or 4-MI has been found in several sodas from Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi, and Diet Pepsi. The highest levels have been found in Goya Malta, a popular brand in Latin America.

To be honest, as an integrative MD, I tell my three boys that soda is toxic, like poison. Nothing good comes from drinking soda, except for a sugar rush, then a sugar crash…and then all the detrimental reasons I listed. There are much better alternatives for children and adults to quench their thirst and even satisfy a sweet tooth. I will write more on that later, but for now, skip the soda aisle. You will do yourself a huge favor and your body will thank you.