sodaIn the dead heat of the day, experienced when the sun is at its highest and in no mood to show mercy, reaching for a soda could be more mandatory than choice. Moreover, who can complain? The bottled or canned beverages do exactly what we need them to, which is to provide a moment of refreshing retreat. However, when we start to enjoy these moments a little more than we need to, then we have to pause and ask ourselves a question that we would rather avoid. What are we doing to ourselves?

The dangers presented by the chemicals present in the drinks should have most of us shaking our heads with worry. One of the harmful soda ingredients included is high fructose corn syrup (HFCP), which is unstable sugars whose compounds are linked to the damaging of cells, as well as increased risk of diabetes. HFCP is also the main reason why one can never have enough of sodas since they tend to increase sugar cravings and that is why one would always one to reach for another bottle after gulping down the first. Good for the soda companies, but not so good for your health.

The artificial sweeteners added to ‘soft’ drinks, in particular, aspartame, have been shown to have carcinogen properties and could be linked to brain tumours. Moreover, the preservatives that are used by a number of the soda companies have a number of side effects. An example of such a preservative that is widely popular is Sodium benzoate, which in the presence of an acid forms benzene, another carcinogen. It may be argued that the preservatives are permitted under food regulations, but it’s the amounts in which they are used that pose a real concern.

With the health risks that we are potentially exposing ourselves to by drinking the soft drinks we should just give them up all together. However, you and I know how hard that could be. So perhaps it could be more practical to suggest limiting the amount we drink and maybe one day we may be able to break away from their allure. An alternative to consider could be fresh fruit squeezes that could help manage the heat some way.