I’m not exaggerating when I say that soda is one of the easiest ways to sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Out of all the soda manufacturers, Coca-Cola’s iconic brand absolutely dominates the soda marketplace, with a 42.8% share. Pepsi clocks in at just over 31%.
Approximately 1.7 billion servings of Coke products are consumed every day around the world.
Now, it’s inaccurate to say that people are actually addicted to this stuff. The idea of food “addiction” is more fiction than fact, but it can certainly help to cut back on soda if you’re trying to lose weight.
If you’re one of those people who needs a reminder as to why you should limit your Coke intake, here goes…
Coke Can Stain Your Teeth
You’ve probably heard that putting your tooth in a glass of Coke will cause it to dissolve in a matter of days.
Even though that claim has been shown to be grossly exaggerated, the idea behind it is sound – Coke is hard on your teeth.
The phosphoric acid and colorings in these drinks is to blame for their enamel-eroding and staining effects.
Coke doesn’t just erode your teeth, it stains them too. The caramel coloring used to create the deep brown of Coca-Cola can cause your pearly whites to turn an unattractive shade of yellow if you also don’t carefully brush on a regular basis, especially after drinking Coke.
Coke May Cause Weight Gain
The fact is that too many calories causes weight gain, and soda is an easy way to overeat calories.
Given that a 12 oz can of Coke contains 39 g of sugar (higher than the recommended daily value for both men and women) it’s not surprising how easy it is to over-consume.
One man, George Prior, wanted to demonstrate just how bad Coke is for your waistline (and overall health). A regular gym-goer, Prior took it upon himself to drink 10 cans of Coca-Cola a day for a month.
He gained 12 kg in weight, he suddenly found himself with a flabby belly and his blood pressure soared.
Coke Could Raise Your Blood Pressure
In the case of George Prior, his blood pressure rose from 129/77 to 145/96. The ideal blood pressure level is 120/80 – a far cry from Prior’s current level.
Elevated blood pressure levels (known as hypertension) increase your risk of serious health problems like heart attack and stroke.
You don’t have to have a Coke consumption as extreme as George’s to suffer from high blood pressure.
Data from two large ‘Nurses Health’ studies, that followed 155,000 women for 12 years, show that women who drank just one cola drink every day had a 9% to 13% higher risk of high blood pressure.
The women who drank four or more cans of cola a day had up to a 44% higher risk of hypertension.
The good news is that, in the case of blood pressure at least, kicking your sugary habit can help reverse some of the damage done.
It’s not that Coke directly increases blood pressure, per say, but if it leads to weight gain, then your blood pressure is likely to rise as well.
Even though soda is demonized more than almost any other food, it’s not going to kill you.
I generally recommend people get their calories from whole foods as much as possible, as liquid calories of any kind tend to be less satiating. That’s especially true of soda. But if you want to have a cola every now and then, assuming you’re exercising regularly and in a calorie deficit, or at a healthy weight already, that’s not going to hurt you.
Instead of Coke, fill up on water, green tea and, if you’re missing your caffeine hit, try some coffee, which actually has several health benefits.