It’s no surprise to most people that drinking cola and other soft drinks isn’t a healthy choice. Empty calories, tooth decay, acid indigestion, too much caffeine — we all know that grabbing a can of soda isn’t good for us, yet the majority of us do it anyway.
North Americans love soda, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The United States ranks first in the world for soda consumption: the average American drinks 15 ounces of the bubbly brew each day.
If you share this passion for soda, take a look at this new study. If you’re female, maybe this report is just what you need to hear in order to break that soda habit for good.
In the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers revealed that women who drink cola every day have lower bone mineral density, thus raising their risk of osteoporosis substantially. The study examined over 2,500 women, who were around 60 years of age.
Cola consumption negatively affected bone mineral density in all women, regardless of how old they were, whether they drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, or whether they supplement their diet with calcium and vitamin D or not.
Other soft drinks did not have the same negative effect in this particular research project.
So what is it that makes cola so bad for women’s bone health? Researchers believe it is a combination of the caffeine and phosphoric acid in “Coke,” “Pepsi,” and other cola products that make the beverages so harmful to bones.
We’re all familiar with caffeine, which can make it difficult for your body to absorb the calcium it needs, but phosphoric acid may be new to some of us, so here’s a lowdown on the chemical.
You can find phosphoric acid most readily in bathroom and kitchen cleaning products such as “CLR.” It is a strong acid that can remove rust stains easily. This same chemical is also used in the dental industry to etch the surface of teeth before cavities are filled.
If phosphoric acid can strip rust off metals, just imagine what it’s doing to your insides!
Phosphoric acid is added to cola because it makes the drink more tangy and acidic. Manufacturers love it because it’s cheap, too!
In your body, phosphoric acid creates, not surprisingly, a very acidic environment. In order to try and balance out this acidity, calcium is drawn out of your bones. Without this calcium, your bones weaken, as was shown in the aforementioned study.
The results of this study are just another nail in the coffin for soft drink manufacturers that are already seeing a slowdown in sales, as many consumers opt for healthier beverages such as tea, juice, or water instead of soda.
As more studies proving how soda harms your body are being published, more consumers will hopefully choose to reach for a glass of water instead of opening a can of soda — their bones will thank them for the decision.