But I know better. We all do. So to remind us about the evils of Satan's Juice, I'm reprinting this post from tri coach Lora Erickson, who has a degree in Heath Education. She has a lot to say about it all.
Soda pop is a staple in the average American’s diet today. Let’s consider the ramifications of this lifestyle choice. Over the many years as I have worked as a weight loss specialist I would say the majority of the people that I have worked with that wanted to lose weight drank an average of three 12 once sodas a day before starting the program. This is about 130 grams of sugar or 520 empty calories. To burn this off an average 150 pound person would have to run about between 3.5-4 miles.
Alright, so let’s say they decided to switch to diet soda after they figured this out. No calories no problem right? True no calories, but what about the other substances found in soda? Soda pop is high in the mineral called phosphorus. Extra phosphorus in the body is excreted through the urine and is accompanied by calcium which is often lost in the urine. If the body doesn’t consume adequate amounts of calcium (soda often replaces milk in the diet) then the body takes calcium from the bones often making them porous. This leads to osteopenia and finally osteoporosis, a painful chronic condition. This once “aged” disease is now being seen in children.
Another chemical found in soda is caffeine. Although caffeine can be a performance enhancer when used properly, it is also a well-know diuretic and leads to water loss. If you are trying to lean up you need water. Have you seen a steak dry out to be a piece of beef jerky? Simply, muscle is made up of water and if you aren’t getting enough water you will not build muscle. People that drink soda in place of water are missing out on the benefits of a well hydrated body. Hydrated body tissues perform and function better. Soda pop gives you very little water and often requires more water to process the chemicals in it. Another thing to consider with soda consumption is the dehydration. Soda drinkers often consume pop in lou of water, combined this fact with a soda containing a diuretic (caffeine) then the individual is in a constant state of dehydration. One of the many symptoms of dehydration is impaired ability to think clearly. I don’t know about you, but I want to think clearly during my training and in a running race or triathlon. Soda pop simply does not help you.
So what about carbonation in soda pop? Does it hurt you? Bubbles are made of carbon dioxide. Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t this what we are getting rid of when we are breathing out? Putting this into your body on a regular basis just doesn’t make sense to me. While I enjoy the flavor of a soda (rootbeer – my favorite – yum!) – it is certainly more of a treat than a staple in my diet since performance is important to me. If you are striving for optimum health, then reach for a glass of water.