I've been warning readers of the dangers of soda since I started this site, well over a decade ago. Since then, science has caught up; now definitively showing the profound health risks of this popular beverage.
Amazingly, as of 2005, white bread was dethroned by soft drinks as the number one source of calories in the American diet! I keep repeating that statistic because I find it so incredible. According to recent statistics, Americans consume close to 50 billion liters of soda per year, which equates to about 216 liters, or about 57 gallons per person. That equates to a staggering amount of sugar!
Play-By-Play of what Happens in Your Body when You Drink a Soda
Soda is on my list of the five absolute worst foods and drinks you can consume. The video above offers a compelling illustration of why I make this claim.
In it, reporter Yunji DeNies drinks a 20-ounce glass of cola, which contains the equivalent of 16 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This is nearly three times the maximum daily sugar intake recommended by the American Heart Association.
HFCS typically contains a mixture of 45 percent glucose and 55 percent fructose (although recent investigations have found that many brand-name sodas actually contain 65 percent fructose!).
Once ingested, your pancreas rapidly begins to create insulin in response to the sugar. The rise in blood sugar is quite rapid. Here's a play-by-play of what happens in your body upon drinking a can of soda:
- Within 20 minutes, your blood sugar spikes, and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar into fat.
- Within 40 minutes, caffeine absorption is complete; your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. As you could see in the report above, DeNies' blood glucose level was 79 at the outset of the experiment, and after 40 minutes it had risen to 111!
- Around 45 minutes, your body increases dopamine production, which stimulates the pleasure centers of your brain - a physically identical response to that of heroin, by the way.
- After 60 minutes, you'll start to have a blood sugar crash, and you may be tempted to reach for another sweet snack or beverage.
As I've discussed on numerous occasions, chronically elevated insulin levels (which you would definitely have if you regularly drink soda) and the subsequent insulin resistance is a foundational factor of most chronic disease, from diabetes to cancer.