5. Sodium Benzoate
Sodium benzoate, also known as E211, is used as preservative in soft drinks as well as pickles, salad dressings, fruit juices, jams and jelly to prevent molding.
E211 may cause serious cell damage and accelerate cell aging.
A 2015 study published in BioMed Research International reports that sodium benzoate may cause DNA damage. It had mutagenic and cytotoxic toxicity in lymphocytes caused by micronucleus formation and chromosome break.
Regular consumption of sodas may influence metabolic disease development through accelerated cell aging.
Other known side effects of E211 include hyperactivity, dizziness, light-headedness and trouble sleeping.
6. Caramel Color and Artificial Dyes
Caramel coloring gives the classic brown color to colas. This and other artificial dyes used in sodas can increase your risk of cancer.
A 2015 study published in PLOS One reports that the caramel color in soft drinks and exposure to 4-methylimidazole can increase cancer risks and burdens.
Another yellow dye called tartrazine found in lemony soft drinks also increases cancer risk.
According to a 2015 study published in Anticancer Research, prolonged consumption of tartrazine can cause cancer.
This chemical also has been known to increase asthma attacks and exacerbate asthma symptoms.
Most sodas contain caffeine, as it adds a slight bitterness and works well to enhance the taste of both sugar and sweeteners. The amount of caffeine varies among soda brands but is usually between 34 and 38 milligrams per 12-ounce serving.
Excess caffeine has been linked to certain health problems.
A 2015 study published in the European Society of Cardiology shows that caffeine increases cardiovascular risk in young adults with mild hypertension. With time, this may increase their risk of developing more severe hypertension and diabetes in later life.
Caffeine also has been identified as a major fertility inhibitor. A 2012 study published in Epidemiology reports that women who regularly drank carbonated drinks and sodas reported reduced fertility.
Additionally, as caffeine is an addictive stimulant, it can cause insomnia. Caffeine also has a dehydrating effect on the body, as it works as a diuretic.
Tips to Reduce Your Soda Consumption and Minimize Its Effects
- Replace soda with healthier drinks, such as fresh juices, smoothies, or herbal teas.
- To quench your thirst, water is the best drink in the world.
- If you do not like water, try flavored water.
- If you drink soda, drink it in moderation and don’t sip it for extended periods of time.
- After drinking, swish your mouth out with water to dilute the acid and sugar.
- Don’t drink soda before going to bed.