We all love a little sweetness in our days. Something that picks us up and makes us feel good for a bit. But looking for that sweetness in the things we drink can be a recipe for disaster. Many people all over the world drink soda as their primary beverage, sometimes even more frequently than water. Massive soft drink consumption contributes to countless health concerns. Here are just six of the many reasons you may want to rethink what you drink.

Sickly Sweet

As we have shared in other articles, refined sugar is one of the most dangerous drugs on the planet today. We call it a drug because that is how it acts in the body and brain, in the same manner as addictive narcotics like cocaine. Most sodas contain more processed sugar than an adult should have in two days, in just one serving. Unlike fruit or other naturally sweet foods like yams, soda contains no fiber to balance the sugar consumption. This leads to massive blood glucose spikes and drops, sugar addiction, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome.

This processed sugar is usually in the form of fructose or high fructose corn syrup, which are more directly linked to unbalancing the metabolism than any other type of sweetener. People who consume one soft drink a day are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as people who never or rarely consume sugary beverages.

And the negative effects of the sweeteners in sugar are not confined to cane sugar or corn syrup. Diet sodas sweetened with chemical sugar substitutes are equally detrimental to health. Aspartame, the most popular artificial sweetener in soft drinks, has been linked to nearly a hundred health challenges. It raises blood glucose levels just like other types of sweeteners.

This can cause diabetes because of how it affects the pancreas ability to produce insulin and the way the body recognizes and processes calories consumed after the diet soda has been drunk. Aspartame consumption has also been linked to brain tumors, multiple sclerosis and emotional disorders.

Packing On the Pounds

The most obvious side effect of soda, after the cracked-out feeling from a quick burst of energy followed by a big crash and cravings for more, is weight gain. This is mostly because of consuming all those empty calories or the artificial sweeteners that mess with the metabolism.

In one study, people who drank diet soda had a 70 percent increase in waist circumference over 10 years compared to those who avoided it. The waists of people who had more than two servings of diet soda per day quintupled. Thats five times as large, in just 10 years, which for a woman means going from a size 4 to a size 20. The more sweetened soft drinks people consumed each day, diet or regular, the greater the likelihood that they would become overweight.

Brittle Bones and Bellies

Sodas are high in phosphoric acid, which contributes to many health problems. Ingesting high levels of phosphoric acid leads to weaker bones, osteoporosis, and increased incidence of bone fractures and breaks. Too much phosphoric acid can also lead to heart and kidney challenges.

Phosphoric acid interferes with the bodys ability to absorb calcium and interacts with stomach acid. So it weakens bones, and makes it harder to digest and assimilate the food we eat.

If Its Brown, Turn It Down

The most dangerous sodas are ones that include caramel coloring, like Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper. Caramel coloring is made from a sugar refinement process, and often includes many chemical additives and contaminants. One such contaminant is 4-methylimidazole, which has been found to cause cancer in animals. Just 16 micrograms of this chemical per day in the diet of a healthy person poses a cancer threat, and most popular brown sodas contain 80 micrograms per 8 ounce serving.

Brain Fog

Soda dulls the mind. A chemical additive in most citrus-based soft drinks like Mountain Dew that is added to keep the artificial flavor from separating out is actually an industrial flame retardant. This chemical, brominated vegetable oil (BVO) causes memory loss and nerve disorders. It may build up in body fat like other brominated flame-retardants, which leads to infertility, behavioral problems, and heart lesions.

The chronic dehydration caused by consuming so much sugar, caffeine, and other chemicals in soda contributes to brain fog, as well.

Genetically What?

Most popular sodas contain at least one product derived from corn, if not several. Most corn in the US and some other countries is genetically modified, altered in some way to make it cheaper and easier to grow. No human studies have been done on the long-term effects of consuming GMOs, though in animal studies consuming GMOs has been linked to damage in the digestive tract, infertility, and accelerated aging.

This article really just scratches the surface, as there are so many more reasons we should be eliminating soda from our diets entirely. Producing and consuming soft drinks pollutes our bodies and the planet. And since they provide no nutritional value, it really is a no-brainer that its time to switch from sodas to more healthful beverages like herbal tea and water.