3/26/14

WWW: Sodas May Be Slowing You Down (Part I)

I see it everywhere. I know, it’s just a coke. I get it.

 I know it’s your drug of choice


However, I think we should examine the effects of sodas on your whole body and your workout.


The carbonation for one, when consumed in large amounts or quickly, can cause excess air to build up and results in bloating. This can make exercise difficult and may slow down your performance. The caffeine in these drinks also will prevent you from staying hydrated due to its dehydrating effect. When you stay hydrated, it will increase your cardiovascular endurance.

Exercise is also a fantastic way to control your weight, but drinking carbonated drinks can interfere with the process. Most of the time, there aren’t a lot of nutrients in these drinks and can sometimes be packed with lots of calories. Plus, carbonation can bind to fat cells and slow down weight loss if that is a goal. The sugar in those drinks can give you an initial burst of energy, but then may cause a low blood sugar crash that leaves you feeling tired and weak, often times during your workout. Also, these specific sugars can cause your triglycerides to elevate, which is a type of fat that can clog your arteries and make someone more susceptible to strokes or heart attacks. 

Even worse, most of those sugars are stored as body fat. This must be why the AHA (American Heart Association) recommends that you drink three servings of soda at the maximum PER WEEK and limit daily to all types of added sugar to maximum of 5% of your daily total. This is about 100 calories for females and 150 for males.

Soda consumption has also been linked to kidney disease due to the phosphorus in cola and other dark-colored sodas and possibly the high-fructose corn syrup overload. In fact, two more sodas per day will double your likelihood for kidney disease. The large amounts of phosphoric acid can also leach calcium from your system and weaken bones, especially in females. This contributes to adolescent girls being at an increased risk of bone fractures.

I won’t go in to the aspartame and whether it causes cancer or not. You can decipher and do that research on your own time. I will talk about how it is just like a drug though. When you drink a can, the sugar enters your system, spikes your blood sugar, and rises your blood pressure. Your liver now has no choice but to drop more sugar into your bloodstream. Your brain, however, is blocked by the caffeine so you don’t get drowsy, and the dopamine production will increase to stimulate the pleasure center in your brain. Does this sound similar to anyone? That’s right, pretty similar to heroin’s effect on your body. And worse, the phosphoric acid we discussed earlier connects with the calcium, magnesium, and zinc in your intestine will meet up with water and electrolytes and be urinated out. Sounds fun, huh?

Not to mention, have you ever poured out soda on an old battery and watched it? 

Pretty scary to think that’s what’s happening to your insides. Bottom line, soda will decrease your cardiovascular endurance. Maybe even cause some side stiches every now and then. I won’t tell you to not to drink sodas, but I will advise it. It may be a hard habit to break, but trust me and give it a try and see how much better you feel. I haven’t had a soda since junior high school and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my overall health and workout regimen.


P.S. If I haven’t convinced you yet, stay tuned to nextweek…

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.