After the first 10 minutes, 100% of the daily recommended intake of sugar hits the system. In 20 minutes, the blood sugar spike causes an insulin burst, which, in turn, causes the liver to turn all available sugar into fat. 40 minutes later, the caffeine absorption is complete, making pupils dilate, blood pressures rise, and the liver dumps more sugar into the bloodstream. 5 minutes after that, dopamine production increases, rousing the pleasure centers of the brain. After a full hour has passed, the irritability and sluggishness set in. This is referred to as a sugar crash. By now, all the actual water that was in the soda has been eliminated from the body, and that doesn’t even touch on the long-term effects of drinking it.
When you drink soda, you allow it to take up space in your stomach that could have been occupied by something much more healthy. When the soda is replacing milk, it can cause higher risks of osteoporosis, which is a deterioration of the bones. The sugars and acid in soda can also dissolve the calcium out of tooth enamel, which can lead to a softened matrix that allows bacteria in to cause a higher number of cavities and other tooth related problems.
For the most part, the caffeine in soda is the biggest problem. Many people start drinking soda with the desire to have more energy. After a while, however, they become addicted to the caffeine, and it becomes harder and harder to quit drinking beverages that have it as an ingredient.
Some other side effects of too much caffeine include irritability, restlessness, tension, insomnia, excitement, and gastrointestinal disturbance, and that is after only one or two sodas. Larger quantities also contribute to irregular heartbeat, panic and anxiety disorders, muscle twitching, incoherent speech, excessive urination, flushed skin, depression, and high blood pressure. When pregnant, having more than two cups of caffeinated beverages a day is highly unrecommended, as it may lead to an increase in miscarriage, pre-term or low birth-weight, and sudden death of babies after birth.
If you are a devoted soda imbiber, try quitting for one week, and the withdrawal symptoms should be enough to convince you of the harm. You would experience headaches, nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, anxiety, and irritability. These symptoms show within the first 24 hours, peak around 48 hours, and may last anywhere from two to five days.
So the next time you pass the soda machine and think about downing one for a quick pick-me-up, think about a nice juice or glass of milk instead. Eating healthy and staying fit will do more in the long run to keep you awake and energized than that sugary, caffeine-filled soda.