When in need of an afternoon “pick-me-up,” sodas are a pretty common first choice. The sensation of carbonation biting at our throat as the syrupy liquid coats our tastebuds and the caffeine coursing through our bloodstream both feels and tastes like the antidote for our afternoon doldrums.
However, the truth is that sodas are harmful in just about every way a drink can be harmful, damaging everything from our teeth to our liver and leading to a variety of diseases and illnesses that we could live without.
But just how bad is soda, really, and what types of alternatives to soda exist? Read on as we lay out everything you need to know about the harmful effects of soda and some of the great alternatives to soda ready for you to drink up.
Let’s talk about car cleaners — or, in other words, soda. When carbon dioxide is bubbled through water it creates carbonic acid, one of the main ingredients of sodas. Carbonic acid is extremely acidic and has even been used as a quick solution for removing terminal corrosion from car batteries.
That’s right. Coca-cola is often used to clean car batteries. Can you imagine what it does to your teeth?
The carbonic acid found in soda has been known to wear away the enamel of teeth and, when combined with the high sugar content often found in sodas, can be extraordinarily detrimental to dental health, causing cavities and sensitive teeth.
If you hadn’t heard, now you have: Sodas are high in sugar. In fact, that’s about the only nutritional value sodas offer at all. Most sodas are high in preservatives and artificial colors, but devoid of anything else remotely close to nutritious.
No juice. No vitamins. Just sugar.
And a diet high in sugar can be disastrous for your body.
In a recent study, adding just one can of sugar per day increased the likelihood of contracting type 2 diabetes by 1.1%. That may not sound like a lot, but 1.1% of the United States population is 3.6 million people.
Furthermore, even a moderate increase in the amount of sugar intake per day can lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes and liver disease.
For some, sodas provide an extra energy boost for the day. The added caffeine and high sugar content can provide a spike in energy for those needing it.
However, the crash that results from this sugar spike may ultimately just make energy-seekers even more tired.
Hyperglycemia occurs when too much blood has entered the bloodstream and not enough can be transported out to the rest of the body. As the body returns to homeostasis, hypoglycemia takes effect, making you feel tired, irritable, and craving more sugar to catch that high again.
This traps your body in an endless loop of highs and lows requiring more and more sugar just to keep it going. Worse yet, all that sugar piles up, resulting in increased risks for diabetes, liver disease, obseity, and cancer.
The Truth About Diet Sodas
One might think that without calories per se, diet sodas are a healthier option. They have no “real” sugar after all, so how can they hurt us?
The truth is that diet sodas carry with them several of the pit falls of regular sodas. They still carry the artificial flavors and preservatives that can wreak havoc on our bodies. They still carry harmful carbonic and phosphoric acid which can deteriorate our teeth.
Also, the human body reacts to these artificial sweeteners much in the same way it reacts to regular sweeteners. The blood stream still spikes as artificial sugars overwhelm the veins, causing the same crash after the initial rise.
Worst of all, artificial sweeteners may cause their own kind of issues. Studies have connected the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas with health issues including kidney disease, chidhood obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Sweet Alternatives to Soda
If you’re looking to ditch the sugar in a can with something equally delicious but more nutritious, you’re in luck! Plenty of amazing drinks and snacks already exist to take the place of your afternoon soda.
Smoothies are a great way to create wonderful flavor collaborations without the excessive sugar, artificial flavors, and preservatives of soda. They can make for nutritionally-dense snacks for between meals, giving you an opportunity to drink your macros, micros, and antioxidants in one big gulp.
Kombucha, a fermented drink made from tea, sugar, and (good!) bacteria can also be a great alternative to sodas. The bacteria found in kombucha can also help replenish your gut with healthy bacteria to keep your belly in optimal health.
Best of all, many kombucha varieties now come carbonated, making the shift to alternatives to soda a little more seamless.
When looking at smoothies, kombucha, or any soda alternative, it’s important to beware of added sugar. It’s not uncommon to find a sugar bomb advertising itself as a healthy beverage, so read the ingredients and nutrition facts when seeking out your alternatives to soda.
Mean, Clean Energy
Energy doesn’t always come from something you drink, and some of the best alternatives to soda are the munchable kind.
ModBalls has created a nutrient-dense healthy, clean energy bite that boosts you up without all the added sugar from sodas. These outstanding bites are packed with 85 different ingredients delivering vitamins, minerals, antioxidents, and plenty of energy to push you farther than any afternoon soda could — and without the nasty side effects.
ModBalls come in flavors like peanut butter chocolate and almond coconut and are easy to keep in your purse or briefcase for the next time that soda craving hits.
Giving up sodas can be hard. The sweet addiction is available at nearly every restaurant, store, and street corner, and it’s ubiquitous presence in advertising makes it difficult to forget. There are, however, plenty of great alternatives that can satisfy your sweet tooth, without leaving you crashing.
Try replacing your sodas with ModBalls today and feel the difference clean energy makes. Check out our store online.