Soft drinks have become a part of every youngster’s life. Be it party, celebrations, functions or just hanging out with friends; nothing is complete without the fizz of soft drinks. The parents are happy with the soft drinks as these beverages do not contain alcohol, which they find dangerous. Though it is proven that they lead to obesity, dental cavities, type 2 diabetes, bone loss and many more, no one takes them seriously. Only if consumers knew how hard on their health the so called soft drinks can be! There are quite some harmful ingredients in the cold drinks and here are the 6 most harmful of them.
Nearly 12 brands of cold drinks sold in India and other developing nations contain pesticides which are not found in the same soft drinks sold in USA or European countries. The pesticides and insecticides levels are high enough to cause cancer, birth defects and bring down immunity of the body. Though CSE has been fighting the case since 2003, it has not achieved much due to power of MNCs which rule the soft drink markets.
5. Carbon Dioxide:
After the lungs expel carbon dioxide from our body with great effort, we consume it back through the soft drinks which have been infused with that specific waste product under high pressure for the sake of creating fizz in it and making it bubbly. Carbon dioxide is responsible for the tangy taste, sparkle and preservation of the soft drink, though, unfortunately it is a harmful substance which can cause severe cell damage in our body. The dead cells further increase acidity of the body which can lead to cancers of various kinds. Drinking too many carbonated drinks in short time, especially in competitions, can lead to death from carbon dioxide poisoning.
Considered an addictive and harmful drug, Caffeine is added to increase the flavor of soda in cold drinks. Many soda manufacturers add caffeine to the drink to make it addictive to consumers. Caffeine is present in coffee but it is not as much as harmful as in soft drinks, since it is not absorbed rapidly by body when you consume coffee as done with consumption of soft drinks. Caffeine can have both positive and negative effect on the health of the consumer depending upon the amount of consumption per day. Though it may stimulate the intellect and drive away fatigue and sleep for a short time, it is linked to anxiety, sleep disorders and increase of toxins in body when consumed in surplus. Caffeine is known to increase the risk of bladder and stomach cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes. If consumed during pregnancy, it may cause birth defects in babies.
3. High Acidity:
Cold drinks are packed with phosphoric, fumaric, gluconic, acetic, tartaric, and citric acids to give it the sting which is craved by many consumers. The acids also make the soft drink sweet and act as a preservative. Human teeth can be damaged by soft drinks as much as it is damaged by battery acid. Continuous exposure to the acids can erode tooth enamel causing cavities and tooth decay.
Phosphoric acid is harmful to bones and teeth because it weakens the body’s ability to utilize calcium. It causes indigestion due to neutralization of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The acidic environment of the body allows diseases to increase. Adding fuel to the fire, the acids damage and burn the internal organs it comes in contact with. The acidic blood leads to various illnesses like headaches, inflammatory diseases, decreased immunity and many more. The cells mutate and become malignant to survive in order to adapt to the dangerous environment, causing cancer.
2. Artificial Flavors and Colors:
Aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in manufacture of cold drinks is a highly carcinogenic product with lot of additional ill effects on health. Some manufacturers use High-Fructose Corn Syrup which is again a dangerous product with inclination to increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Diet soft drinks contain saccharin which is banned in many nations due to its harmful health effects. Tartrazine, carmoisine and brilliant blue are the colors that have adverse effects on the body, yet it is banned only in few countries. The caramel coloring is obtained by almost burning sugar which turns it into a highly carcinogenic ingredient.
Sugar ranks topmost among the harmful ingredients found in cold drinks. Many may wonder, what is so harmful about sugar which we consume every day. A bottle of soft drink contains very high content of sugar which is tolerated due to the presence of Phosphoric Acid. The insulin burst followed by high intake of sugar causes high absorption of caffeine, rise in blood pressure, and increases sugar level in blood. It is also known to cause rise in Dopamine causing sense of pleasure and hence craving for more deathly liquid. Last but not the least, sugar adds calories to the diet causing obesity issues.