If you drink soda every day, chances are, you’ve been doing so for years—and you’ve probably heard countless times that it’s not good for your health. Still, that’s not stopping you from getting your daily fix.
But, consider this: That glass of refreshing, bubbly, fizz that you’re so loyal to day-in-and-day-out is likely damaging your body in ways you wouldn’t even begin to imagine. To say that it’s preventing you from living your best life is not an understatement.
In fact, here are all the unfortunate side effects of drinking soda—yes, even diet soda—every day, backed by science—listed out in full detail to convince you that it’s time to (finally!) quit this unhealthy habit for good. And for more, here are the specifics on which sodas, in particular, are the most toxic of all.
Yes, you read that right. A 2019 study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation found that men and women who drink more than two sugary beverages (ahem, sodas) a day experienced a 21% increased risk of mortality than those who drank less than one a month.
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The same study also found that drinking two or more sugary drinks a day can heighten your risk of death from cardiovascular disease or stroke by 31%. It’s not a stretch of facts to say that your daily soda habit could be drastically shortening your life. (Related: The 10 Unhealthiest Holiday Drinks, According to a Dietitian.)
Every time you suck down a can of soda, you’re ingesting your entire day’s worth of sugar. This causes your blood sugar to soar about 20 minutes later, according to research, and then totally crash after an hour or so—leaving you feeling tired and moody. So, just picture what every day would look like if you weren’t riding such an emotional roller coaster… (Related: This Simple Coffee Mistake Could Be Damaging Your Body, Study Finds.)
Research published in the American Journal of Public Health found that drinking soda triggers your appetite or subdues feelings of fullness, which leads you to eat more. Specifically, 17 percent more calories than you would’ve normally—and when that’s happening every day, it can add up quick. (Related: The 14 Best Drinks to Drive Weight Loss.)
Speaking of eating more, study after study has linked drinking soda to weight gain. At 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar, one soda can consumed every day equals an extra 51,000 calories—or 14 pounds—a year above your normal diet. The proof is in the research: An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that women gained an average of 17 pounds over 4 years when they drank sugary beverages. What’s worse, research in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that consuming fructose-sweetened beverages can lead to an increase of visceral fat—aka fat that wraps around your vital organs and gives you a belly. (Related: 13 Drinks That Melt Belly Fat.)
A large study published in Diabetes Care determined that drinking 1-2 servings of soda every day increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 26 percent. (Related: 28 Unhealthiest Sodas That are Never Worth Drinking.)
Research featured in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia reveals that those who drink a ton of soda experience the greatest brain shrinkage. That’s an issue if you count on your brain to remember things. (Related: 5 Foods to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s.)
Surprising, but true. Drinking four or more cans of soda every day can make you 30% more likely to develop depression, according to a 2017 study published in the journal PLoS One. This could potentially be avoided if you simply stopped drinking soda.
For drinks that you can sip on every single day that won’t have such negative side effects as soda, check out this list of the healthiest drinks to sip right now, according to dietitians.