Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Truth About Sodas

When was the last time you had a soda/soft drink?

Every day, millions of Americans guzzle down sodas by the can or the liter. You may be one of the millions who drink a soda when you're thirsty, when you're having a meal, or just to be sociable. Or you could be one of the millions who are literally addicted and have to have a liter or two everyday.

Unfortunately, few people bother to pay attention to what's in those sodas they drink, or the ill effects that they can have on your health. That's why I decided to blog about this subject. 

For starters, I thought it might be a good idea to let you in on the chemical soup that you might be getting every time you take a sip of a popular brand of soda. The ingredients listed below came directly off of the bottle. See if you can recognize what soda it is. If not, I have a challenge for you at the end of this blog.

Well, let's get started. Here are the chemicals you are putting in your body every time you have a  sip. So, what's that you're drinking?

Carbonated water. This is water that has been treated to produce carbon dioxide under pressure. When the water is exposed to air, it creates a fizz.

Caramel color. Caramel color is sugar/syrup that is cooked until it is slightly burnt to give the sugar a brown color.

Aspartame. Aspartame is a chemical that is made by combining two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine in the presence of an acid. The product of this chemical reaction is a substance that has a very sweet taste.

Potassium benzoate. Potassium benzoate is a chemical compound that is made by combining potassium and benzoic acid. This compound is used to preserve food for months or years.

Caffeine. Caffeine is a bitter compound that is present in coffee, tea, cocoa and kola nuts.

Natural flavor. Any flavoring obtained from plants or animals may be labeled as natural.

Acesulfame potassium. This is similar to aspartame – a compound made from two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine.

Citric acid. Citric acid is a weak acid found in fruits. It has a slightly acidic or sour taste.

Calcium disodium EDTA – This is a chemical that is used to prevent food from becoming rancid and to prevent certain cooked and canned beans from changing color.

Panax Ginseng Extract – This is added to beverages as a stimulant.

I challenge you to read the labels on soda bottles the next time you go grocery shopping and find out what drink contains all of the above ingredients.

More tomorrow on my next blog post.

If you have a question or comment, please send me a DM. And remember, October is "World Junk-Food Free Month."