Soda – some of us hate it, others can’t live without it.
However, one thing we can all agree on is that it isn’t particularly good for your health.
With all of the revelations about the risks of soda that have been published in recent years, it can be difficult to know when can kids drink soda.
Every parent wants what’s best for their child, and it can be difficult to strike the balance between protecting their health and allowing them the occasional treatment.
This article will take you through the health risks of drinking too much soda for both adults and children, which will hopefully help you make the right decision.
Can Kids Drink Coke?
Many ask if can kids drink soda. The answer is not sure, because they are so harmful to the kids that you need to avoid them for a healthy Diet.
On the other hand, kids are not prohibited by any means to drink soda. Many of them are obsessed with sodas and coke.
Drinking too much added sugar, particularly from sugar-sweetened sodas, could boost a child’s risk of obesity, tooth decay, and a variety of other health issues.
If children consume a lot of these drinks, particularly soda and energy drinks, it can have an effect on their bone health.
What Makes Soda Harmful?
There are three main components of soda that make excessive consumption bad for your health (no matter your age): sugar, acids, and caffeine.
Nowadays we’re becoming more aware of the risks that too many Grams Of sugar poses or the intake of sugar to our health, and many sodas are now sugar-free.
Shockingly, a 12oz can of Coca-Cola soft drink contains 39 grams of sugar, which is more intake of sugar than the recommended daily intake for adults in the UK!
These are the most important things to keep in mind about sugar:
- You can develop a dependency on the energy boost intake of sugar brings (while many call this an “addiction”, there is little evidence to prove that you can be addicted to sugar in the same way as tobacco, alcohol, etc.)
- High sugar consumption is one of the biggest contributing factors to Type 2 diabetes
- Fluctuating sugar levels in the body can negatively impact your mood and cause irritability, urinary stones, anxiety, and depression
- The intake of sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever so it just contains “empty calories”
By drinking even one can of sugary soda daily, you put yourself at a significantly higher risk of these complications.
Three main acids can be found in most sodas, Sports Drinks, or soft drinks:
- Carbonic acid is what makes soda fizzy
- Phosphoric acid slows the growth of bacteria/mold and is also used to give Coca-Cola its sharp flavor
- Citric acid is used to flavor citrus-based drinks such as Sprite
Excessive consumption of soda will cause these acids to wreak havoc on your health.
In particular, the acids found in soda and sugar-sweetened beverages put you at risk of the following:
- Tooth decay, as a result of long-term enamel erosion
- Heartburn – carbonic acid expands the stomach and pushes it against the esophagus, exacerbating heartburn and acid reflux
- Phosphoric acid can contribute to weakened bones, making you more likely to sustain bone fractures and urinary stones.
If you drink a lot of soda and energy drinks you may also develop a caffeine addiction due to its Addictive Property. Moreover, when you attempt to wean yourself off it, the mental and physical side effects can be dire. the chances of kidney stones can also be raised.
The main thing to know is that there is no nutritional benefit to drinking soda no matter what age you are. However, studies show that caffeine decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
It’s best to only have it occasionally, otherwise, you are at risk of some serious diseases like heart disease.
The Biggest Dangers of Drinking Too Much Soda
As nice as it tastes in the moment, too many soda and fruit drinks or sweet drinks can pose serious risks to the physical and mental health of children and adults alike.
Society’s high sugar consumption or intake of sugar per day in carbonated drinks has led us to an obesity epidemic and Upset Stomach.
It’s thought that the average American adult gets at least 10% of their daily caloric intake from soda alone!
Obesity often then leads to other complications such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure/cholesterol
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart attack/stroke
An American Academy of Pediatrics told that With a large amount of sugar in soda, it’s unsurprising that drinking Carbonated Beverage or Sugary Beverage can be a contributing factor to becoming obese.
The chemical Benzene is derived from benzoic acid, the levels of which usually go unregulated in soda or in energy drinks.
Benzene is known to increase your risk of cancer, especially leukemia and other cancers that attack the blood cells and may cause mental health issues.
Additionally, some of the artificial sweeteners used in sugar-free soda or v are thought to increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
If you drink a lot of soda, or soft drinks, the sugar, dehydration, and intake of carbohydrates can lead to developing kidney stones or urinary stones.
Passing these kidney stones and urinary stones can be excruciatingly painful and, if they’re too big to pass naturally through the urethra, you may need surgery to remove these urinary stones.
Many light-colored sodas and fruit drinks contain a chemical called BVO (brominated vegetable oil) which has been banned in Japan and Europe. Always check the ingredients
An American Academy of Pediatrics Research suggests that BVO can impact your ability to conceive naturally.
If you struggle with falling/staying asleep at night, consider cutting down on soda or v in the evening.
Caffeine can take many hours to leave the system which can disturb the natural sleep rhythm.
Long-term sleep deprivation carries its own separate health risks.
Bad news: drinking soda or sweet drinks and intake of carbohydrates can cause you to age faster! It shortens the telomeres (buffers at the end of our chromosomes) earlier than it would happen naturally, causing our cells to age at an accelerated rate.
Externally, excessive soda or fruit drinks consumption can lead to dry skin, as well as more fine lines and wrinkles.
With all of the risks that come from drinking too much soda, we must ask ourselves at what age children can safely have it.
What Age Should a Child Drink Soda?
People ask, when can kids have soda?
Many parents are hesitant to introduce their toddlers to soda, and rightfully so; the truth is that soda or sweet drinks should not be given to toddlers.
Their fragile bodies are growing and developing, which means that the health risks of giving kids soda
and intake of carbohydrates can be even worse than in adults.
Here are just a few reasons not to give soda to a three-year-old.
Toddlers are extremely susceptible to tooth decay if they drink soda or fizzy drinks since the enamel on their teeth has not yet been fully developed.
Additionally, a lot of children don’t brush their teeth correctly which gives the sugar and acids ample opportunity to erode them.
If a toddler drinks a lot of soda and does intake of carbohydrates they are consuming empty calories.
The caffeine and carbonation work as an appetite suppressant, so your little one might not want to finish their meals.
If a child favors soda and other fizzy drinks over real food, they can become deficient in vital vitamins and minerals.
Drinking soda at such a young age can be the start of lifelong unhealthy eating habits.
Soda is known to impact the behavior of young children, and it can make them prone to aggressive outbursts.
In addition, children who drink lots of soda and intake of carbohydrates tend to have issues with concentration and paying attention in class.
This is another side effect of the BVO chemical; it has been linked with early-onset puberty.
Not only is this emotionally difficult for young children, but it can cause physical problems like long-term stunted growth.
So, the question remains: At what age can children start to have soda?
This poll says that most mothers consider eight years old to be an acceptable soda age to introduce soda to their children.
No matter the age, though, children should not have soda in excessive amounts.
You should try to keep your child away from soda and other fizzy drinks for as long as possible, offering healthy alternatives like fruit juice, milk, and water.
If they do have soda it should be very occasional and consumed in moderation.