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Is 1 Soda a Day Bad for You?

Is 1 Soda a Day Bad for You?

Soda is refreshing there’s no doubt, and goes well with most meals. As a regular consumer I often wondered whether drinking even just 1 soda a day would be bad for me.

I undertook some research and I’d like to share it with you.

So, is drinking a soda a day really bad for you?

A peer reviewed study found it’s bad to drink even 1 soda a day, because that alone could increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by around 67%.

The study was, however, unable to establish causality.

And therefore can’t be said to be the only factor that causes the increase in health issues.

So like many things, treat soda as a treat and consume it in moderation. 

Your health is more important than having a soda everyday

Type 2 Diabetes is an interesting illness, and there are other health issues that can arise as a result of drinking 1 soda a day.

So, below I’ll explain more about the data found in the study, and how much soda is healthy to drink.

Is real sugar soda better for you than diet soda?

Is real sugar soda better for you than diet soda

The results of this peer reviewed study found that real sugar soda is not better for you than diet soda.

The results showed there is some link between drinking artificially sweetened soda and an increased risk of getting Type 2 diabetes regardless of whether it’s regular sugar soda or diet soda.

According to the Ohio State University Medical Center diet sodas are recommended because they contain less calories. Calories are a measure of stored energy.

If you burn off all of the calories that you consume you will remain the same weight.

But, if you consume less calories than you consume your body needs to access stored calories to function.

Which will use up excess fat.

Real sugar soda contains more calories, and therefore, can lead to weight gain, if you consume more calories than you burn off.

If you are unsure of how many calories you consume in a day then you can measure it by recording what you eat.

It takes a little bit of time to calculate initially.

But, it will give you a very accurate idea about whether drinking diet soda will be better for you than real sugar soda.

For most men, the average calories you need to consume are 2000 to 3000 calories per day. Most women need about 1600 to 2400 calories a day.

It varies based on your height, according to

But, what exactly is Type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that is related to insulin in your body.

Insulin transports glucose through your body according to Harvard Medical School.

Many people with this disease take an insulin shot once a day to increase the insulin levels in their body.

That way glucose can be distributed effectively throughout their body.

When your body doesn’t get enough sugar because your insulin system is weak, you have increased risk of getting severe health issues such as a stroke or a heart attack.

When it is properly treated with insulin injections your insulin levels will be normal.

But, if it’s undetected, you are more at risk of having a severe health problem.

According to, who have a team of 6 MD’s, type 2 diabetes can cause:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Kidney Disease
  • Gum disease

Will 1 soda a day make you gain weight?

Will 1 soda a day make you gain weight

According to Ohio State University, weight gain is caused by eating and drinking more calories than are used by your body.

Your body will use more calories if you do exercise. A ‘real sugar’ soda has roughly 140 calories.

About the same calories as three apples.

Diet soda contains no calories so theoretically wont make you gain weight. 

That said diet sodas do have artificial sweeteners that also have their own side effects and could cause bloating.

By comparison a footlong Subway for example has about 320 calories.

Here’s a table that shows the average percentage of daily calories you get from common food.

Food or drink Calories Percent of daily recommended calories (Men) Percent of daily recommended calories – (Women)
An apple 52 1.7% to 2.5% 2% to 3%
Subway footlong 340 11% to 17% 14% to 21%
A can of soda 140 5% to 7% 6% to 9%
A can of diet soda 0 0% 0%
1 cup of coffee with milk 1 0.03% to 0.05% 0.04% to 0.06%
A Big Mac 257 8.5% to 13% 11% to 16%

As you can see from the table above, a can of real sugar soda makes up 5% to 7% of a male’s recommended calorie intake, and 6% to 9% of the recommended daily intake for females.

When compared to a standard meal say a subway footlong, a can of real sugar soda has about half the calories.

Therefore, it depends on if you consume more calories than you burn off, and depends on how much you eat, what kinds of foods you eat, and the amount of exercise you do.

Interestingly the negative effects of soda are the same whether you’re overweight or not.

What can I drink instead of soda?

What can I drink instead of soda

There are many good options to drink instead of defaulting to soda such as iced coffee, ice tea, and fruit juice and good old H2o.

There are also many drinks are also made from water and fruit juice, but are also carbonated, that are coming onto the market.

These soda-like waters are good alternatives.  They contain anywhere from 30% to 99.9% fewer calories than soda.

 Another good option is to make your own carbonated drinks using a machine like a Sodastream.

This allows you to mix and match to create a soda recipe that you really love.

And you can make it from all-natural ingredients such as honey, and lemon juice.

I recently wrote an article comparing two of the top soda machines – Sodastream and Soda Syphon.

You can read it by clicking here, Soda Syphon vs Sodastream.

What is the best way to stop drinking soda?

Some people can just stop drinking it altogether without much hassle.

Others need really help and intentional planning to stop drinking it, and the way to help that is by replacing it with something else.

For example, when you want to drink some soda, drink a glass of juice, or a cup of coffee.

Sounds easier said than done but make it easier on yourself.

Put existing sodas in the garbage and make other drinks readily available, such as tea and coffee in your eye line in the kitchen

The place already filled cold water bottles in the refrigerator or switch to a sodastream and go for plain carbonated water OR make your own soda flavorings that aren’t loaded with calories or nasties.


Change your habits will soon address your cravings

I stopped drinking full sugar soda about 8 years ago, have switched to sodatream recently, and drink much more water.

I used to drink a lot of V energy drinks, and soda’s with fast food.  

But, over time I noticed my mood was better when I didn’t drink soda.

And if I have store /restaurant bought sodas with a meal I often feel sluggish, and irritable.  

So, it wasn’t much effort to change it – keep it in moderation and have them as a treat.

However, another option for you may be to try a 30 day challenge where you go a whole month without soda.

After you’ve gone some time without the soda, when you drink it again, you will notice how much you dislike the taste, and how unappealing it is to drink.

At least I did.

And based on the studies above it was a good move.

Another good way to do it, is to have soda water with alcohol.

A lot of alcoholic drinks come with cola or lemonade.

It’s better to mix your own drinks, and if you want to make it fizzy, use tonic water – also known as seltzer, mineral water, sparkling water, or club soda.

That way you still get the bubbles, but without the extra sugar, and caffeine.


So in summary 1 Soda a day can be bad for you, and can increase the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is an illness where your body is inefficient at moving sugar around your body, and untreated can lead to serious health issues.

Regular sodas have, in particular the full sugar ones a relatively high amount of calories compared to other drinks such as fruit juices, coffee, or tea.  

For this reason, some people find this to being an incentive alone to drink less soda.

And there are many good alternatives such as fruit juice, iced coffee, and iced tea, and good old water.

And if you are a regular soda drinker maybe try and moderate and take your health into consideration.

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