SODA POP OR SOFT DRINKS
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© January 2014, L. D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Many people enjoy soda pop, including brands such as Sprite, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and dozens of less well-known ones. However, soda pop is generally horrible for one’s health. Here is why:
1. Empty calories. Most soda pop is completely devoid of nutrition of any kind. This must be emphasized! Everything we eat or drink should be nutritious, and most soda pop contains nothing or almost nothing of nutritional value.
Some sodas contain some minerals or vitamins, such as Gatorade, Recharge, Vitamin Water, natural root beer and a very few others. But they are still low in nutrients, high in sugar and chemicals, and to be avoided.
2. Yin. All soda drinks are yin in Chinese medical terminology. This means they tend to be sugary, expanded, contain chemical additives, and often are made from reverse osmosis water, which is also very yin and bad for one’s health. Eating or drinking yin foods and beverages always worsens health and upsets the body in many subtle ways.
3. Often a very high sugar content. Most regular soda contains up to 10 teaspoons of sugar in each can. This is a tremendous amount. The label may read corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, glucose or something else, but all of these are types of sugars. Some ingredients are not required to be listed on the label at all.
4. Up to 70 chemical additives. Most soda pop, and especially diet sodas, contains dozens of chemical additives such as artificial colors, artificial and natural flavors, phosphoric acid, preservatives and more. Most of them are not required to be listed on the label, unfortunately. These chemicals may be harmful to the liver, kidneys and other body organs, especially when consumed on a daily or even a once-a-week basis. This is perhaps the worst aspect of the diet soda revolution, which has swept America and is beginning to catch on around the world.
Some day the authorities will learn that drinking diet soda instead of sugar-laden soda does not make one thin. In fact, a few studies showed that the more diet soda a person drinks, the more weight they gained. This may be because the person ate more of other calorie-laden foods, or it may be due to the damage to the body that occurs from ingesting so many chemical additives.
5. Artificial sweeteners. These include aspartame, saccharin, Splenda and others. All of these are harmful and toxic chemicals that should not be in our food.
A newer and similar chemical is called Neotame. This is definitely a harmful chemical that should not be permitted to be produced. Please avoid all diet soda for this reason alone.
6. Caffeine. Most soda pop contains a lot of unbuffered and unopposed caffeine. While a small amount of caffeine is often okay, many people consume far too much of it in products such as teas, coffees and soda pop. It is a stimulant that can irritate the intestines, and weaken the adrenal glands and thyroid gland. Eventually, it contributes to adrenal exhaustion or adrenal burnout.
7. The use of reverse osmosis or RO water to make some soda pop. This type of water causes two primary types of health problems. First, it is not absorbed and utilized properly, in our experience. As a result, drinking it in any form often contributes to intense dehydration. This includes drinking RO water in bottled waters such as Dasani water, Agua Fina water, water store water, or the “purified” or “drinking” water that is made from the machines at the supermarkets or at health food stores. This is a very serious problem with RO water, which is also found in many home water filter units.
The problem of dehydration from drinking soda pop is made worse because, in addition to poor utilization of reverse osmosis water, ingesting sugar and caffeine also tend to dehydrate the body. This is quite a lethal combination of dehydrating factors. Adding alcoholic beverages to the soda would make it even worse. This is a common practice, such as drinking a rum and coca cola mixture.
The second serious problem with reverse osmosis water is it is essentially free of minerals because this type of filtration removes almost all of the minerals from the water. The companies that make the soda may like this quality to control the taste of the soda pop. However, besides being mineral-deficient itself, reverse osmosis water is called “hungry water” because it will attach to minerals in the body, along with chemicals such as plastics from the can, and carry some these minerals out of the body. In other words, reverse osmosis water is a chelating agent – meaning an agent that removes minerals from the body. It might remove a few toxic metals, but it also definitely will remove vital physiological minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium and others. Over time, it contributes to a severe demineralization of the body, which we note frequently in our clients.
A third, less critical problem we encounter with reverse osmosis water is that it seems to leave a plastic residue or toxicity in the body. This is because the water molecule is forced through a plastic membrane at high pressure, and this may cause a residual effect upon the water.
Table salt and RO water even worse. When one combines drinking soda pop with eating refined table salt on your French fries and other foods that is severely mineral deficient, one can understand why fast food meals, or any meals containing these products, causes severe mineral deficiencies when done on a repeated basis for months or years.
8. Aluminum toxicity, possibly. Most soda pop is sold in aluminum cans. Also, most soda pop is very acidic due to the addition of phosphoric acid or other acids to the product to give it a tangy flavor. Prolonged contact of an acidic product with the aluminum can cause some leaching of the aluminum into the soda pop. This should not be a major problem, however, because many cans are coated on the inside with a plastic material. However, it is another possible disadvantage of drinking soda pop in cans.
9. Phosphoric acid problems. In order to cut the sweetness of many brands of soda pop such as cola drinks, and to give the soda pop a tangy flavor, many brands add phosphoric acid to the formula. This is horrible because phosphoric acid reacts strongly with many minerals in food or the digestive tract, binding them tightly. When this occurs, the minerals are not absorbed into the body, but instead pass through the intestinal tract and are excreted in the feces.
Unfortunately, the minerals that are bound the strongest by phosphoric acid include those needed the most today, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium and others such as chromium and other ultra-trace minerals. For this reason, anyone who drinks colas must take a mineral supplement with the cola drink or mineral depletion will occur.
If reverse osmosis water is used to make the soda pop, this problem would be a lot worse, since tap water contains some minerals, but reverse osmosis does not contain any minerals, so the product will leach minerals due to 1) phosphoric acid, and 2) reverse osmosis water or hungry water.
In fact, soda pop is a form of “negative nutrition” if it contains phosphoric acid and/or uses reverse osmosis water, since both of these deplete the body of minerals, in particular. For example, even if one drinks soda without food, or with little food, the phosphoric acid may bind minerals that are found in the digestive juices and digestive fluids, rendering the person even more nutritionally deficient.
Another problem with phosphoric acid is its highly acidic pH. This can make the body more acidic, especially combined with its lack of alkaline-forming minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, manganese and others. This is not helpful at all, as most people’s bodies are already far too acidic.
NO soda for babies. Soda pop definitely damages the enamel on one’s teeth. This is particular bad when mothers put soda pop in baby bottles and the bottle with the soda sits in the baby’s mouth, in contact with the teeth. The practice of giving babies soda pop is horrendous, as it is a nutritionally empty product to begin with, plus it has all the problems listed above.
For all these reasons, stay away from soda pop of all kinds. In some third world and developing nations, soda pop is the cleanest drink available. In other words, drinking the water can be even worse as it can contain high levels of parasites, bacteria, viruses and toxic metals and chemicals.
If you are in one of these places, look for bottled spring water, as this is usually safe and much more healthful. Or follow the suggestions at the end of this article.
WHAT ABOUT SODA POP SOLD AT HEALTH FOOD STORES?
This is usually a little better, as it usually contains fewer toxic chemical additives, less caffeine, and perhaps less sugar. However, it is still very sweet, quite yin, possibly made with reverse osmosis water, may contain aluminum residue from the can, and might contain phosphoric acid. A can or bottle of it now and then is fine, but I would not consume it on any regular basis.
If you must consume soda pop, buy one made with spring water only, with no caffeine, little or no sugar, preferably no phosphoric acid, and few added chemicals.
WHAT ABOUT SODA POP OR BOTTLED WATER IN PLASTIC CONTAINERS?
While plastic containers are not ideal in terms of possible leaching of chemicals, and in terms of environmental safety, they are far superior to drinking soda pop or other unhealthful beverages. We find that the plastic used to make all beverage containers is not that harmful, even when used on a continuous basis.