1. Your body ages prematurely
Sure, the weight gain and cancer risk from soda may age you, but drinking it affects your body on a cellular level. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco found that people who drank more sugar-sweetened beverages had shorter ends of their chromosomes, known as telomeres. When telomeres are shorter, cells can’t regenerate as quickly, meaning a more rapid aging of the body. This can lead to diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer, and (unsurprisingly) a shorter lifespan—a steep price to pay for a regular soda habit.
2. Your teeth rot
No surprise here: All of the sugar consumed by drinking soda is horrible for your pearly whites. Couple that with the acidity of carbonated beverages that destroy tooth enamel, and you have a dentist’s nightmare. Soda leeches calcium from your teeth and leads to dental erosion, according to a study published in the International Journal of Dentistry. Aside from severe tooth decay, darker-colored sodas like colas can also stain the surface of your teeth. That’s nothing to smile about.
3. Your bones can become brittle
Sticks and stones may break your bones… and soda’s just as bad. Even though your bones naturally become more brittle as you age, drinking soda can exacerbate this problem. Certain soft drinks make your bones weaker, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study found that women who drank cola and diet cola daily had lower bone density in their hips. Although the study didn’t find a correlation between non-cola carbonated beverages and bone density, it did note a lower calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. So laying off the soda is important for staying strong in old age.
4. You could develop Pancreatic Cancer
Think just a couple sodas a week won’t do any harm? Think again. People who drank two or more soft drinks a week had a significantly higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared to those who didn’t drink them, a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found. Of the 60,524 participants, those who drank juice instead of soda didn’t carry the same risk of pancreatic cancer, even though juice also contains a lot of sugar. Soda was found to be uniquely dangerous for the pancreas, which is one more reason to kick your pop habit for good. Take control of your health by also avoiding these 50 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.
5.You Risk Brain Damage
Drinking soda doesn’t just affect your body; your brain is at risk, too. A study out of UCLA found that consuming high levels of fructose, such as the added sugars in soda (hello, high-fructose corn syrup!) alters hundreds of cells in the brain. The scariest part is these are genes linked to serious diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and ADHD. Although a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acid was found to reverse the damaging effects of fructose, it’s best to lay off the sugar-sweetened beverages in the first place.Diet soda was also found to have adverse effects on the cerebellum of rats, according to a study published in African Health Sciences. Although what negatively affects rats might not necessarily have the same consequences in humans, it’s an alarming enough of a correlation to make us want to ditch diet soda along with the full-calorie stuff.