Soda is one of the most consumed beverages second to water, yet its effects on the brain cannot be ignored. Certain ingredients in soda such as caffeine and artificial sweeteners have known side effects that hinder normal brain activities.
What Is Soda Brain?
According to a recent discovery by scientists, people who drink sugary beverages daily are more likely to have smaller overall brain volume, smaller hippocampus, and poor memory.
Further studies revealed that people who drank diet soda frequently were more likely to develop stroke and dementia when compared to those who didn’t.
Below is a look at some of the negative side effects that soda can have on the brain.
Ways Soda Affects Your Brain
This is a type of irreversible brain disorder characterized by loss of memory, cognitive function, and inability to carry out normal tasks when at a pronounced stage. Although the disease is more common among people in their mid-60s, changes in the brain due to lifestyle factors including consumption of sugary beverages can trigger Alzheimer’s development at an early age.
Despite the brand, sodas are composed of a significant amount of caffeine; a chemical compound that increases mental alertness in the brain. The caffeine inhibits the activity level of certain brain chemicals (adenosines) which naturally exist to increase fatigue, decrease arousal, and when in excess, it promotes the development of a type of brain chemical that increases feelings of pleasure.
In the absence of active adenosines, your level of alertness increases, making you restless and sleepless even at night. Further, sleeplessness may trigger other brain responses, including high blood pressure and increased heart rate.
Soda and Memory
The sweeteners in soda are a major hindrance to the production of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a naturally occurring brain chemical responsible for the formation of new memories in the brain.
Inadequate BDFN may cause severe memory loss characterized by an inability to learn or remember anything. Indeed, a study by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine associates impaired memory with consumption of sugary beverages such as soda.
Caffeine, which as mentioned above is often found in copious amount in soda, has been found to reduce the amount of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is known to affect memory, with high levels of acetylcholine in the brain having previously been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.
Intense Food Cravings
The brain controls food cravings by naturally creating a balance between the food taken into the body and the exact amount required. Through this natural process, food satisfaction is created and the risk of developing obesity kept away. Excessive soda consumption can, however, reduce your brain’s ability to gauge how much energy your body requires from sugar. As a result, this will lead to intense food cravings, causing you to eat more.
Irritability Or Violence
When you have a diet filled with frequent carbonated drinks, you are more likely to react violently. This occurs because excess sugar found in soda influences mood and behavior causing aggression.
Sucralose and Saccharin present in the artificial sweeteners can affect the way an individual thinks. They promote indecision and inability to make the right choices even in life. Frequent consumers of soda, for instance, will most likely settle for short-term choices over longer-term choices in life.
The high amount of sugars resists proper blood flow into the brain, causing heart-related complications. If left untreated, such complications could develop into a stroke, paralysis, and even permanent brain damage.
One of the major causes of depression results from changes in the functioning of the brain’s neurotransmitters. Soda intake alters the brain’s naturally occurring chemicals, putting you at a higher risk of developing depression.
Alternatives To Consider
Limiting the amount of soda consumption can help improve brain health and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
You may opt for an occasional treat, but its’ high sugar and calorie content makes it harmful if taken regularly. Fortunately, healthier options such as low-sugar fruit juice and Green tea can be used as ideal substitutes. This still guarantees you a refreshment similar to soda, but with fewer health risks if any.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to substitue the soda in your diet with the healthiest option possible, don’t forget about water!
Drink Water Instead
Water is very important for the body. So much so, that without it we could not exist. It is the fuel to our body and without it, we simply cannot survive. As if that wasn’t enough, here are some additional reasons for which you should remember to stay hydrated each and every day.
Strengthens the Immune System
We all should know that drinking water makes our immune system stronger. And if our immune system is strong enough to fight off any disease, then we do not have to worry about contracting the disease in the first place. Water also helps to keep the bacteria out of our body by helping the body to flush out the toxins that build up inside. This helps to avoid any sicknesses that we might have.
Helps With Weight Loss
As conttradictory as it may sound, drinking more water can help you lose more weight. When you drink water every day, the extra water is used by the body to flush out toxins and other wastes produced naturally by expending energy.
It has been shown that drinking water can improve the cardiovascular system substantially. This improvement of the heart’s system will greatly help a person’s health and even his/her heartbeat and blood flow.
Specifically, water in the bloodstrean can help keep the blood pressure lower. This is because water helps to dilute the blood and ultimately reduce its’ viscocity, therefore decreasing pressure. As mentioned before, water also helps to eliminate waste products from the body which helps to reduce the risks of heart disease and many other common illnesses.
These are only some of the most notable reasons why it is important to always drink water. There are many more. So, next time you reach for a sugary soda, think of all the benefits that a cold glass of water could bring if you chose it instead.