The Frightening Truth Behind Soda And What It Does To Your Body

Every time you put a soda (like Coca-Cola) to your lips, you assault your body and its organs. To learn the frightening truth behind soda and what it does to your body, continue reading.

This is what happens to your body when you drink soda

The Frightening Truth Behind Soda And What It Does To Your Body

Within the first 10 minutes

An average of TEN teaspoons of sugar enter into your system. This is already 100% of your recommended daily intake. Normally, you would vomit as a result of the overwhelming sweetness, but have no fear, food scientists have this covered – the phosphoric acid added to the soda cuts the strong flavor, which prevents you from puking your brains out.

Within the first 20 minutes

The sugars are absorbed through the intestinal wall and sent to the liver, where they are converted into glucose and then released. Blood sugar (glucose) levels elevate, your pancreas senses this spike and responds by secreting the hormone, insulin, into the bloodstream.

The insulin, in turn, allows glucose to move from the bloodstream into the cells in your body. Your muscle cells either use the glucose as an energy source or store it in a slightly altered form called “glycogen”, but… wait… this happy little hormonal response is about to get wild.

Insulin also stimulates fat synthesis and fat storage, and since a high insulin surge just occurred following your high-carbohydrate drink/meal, a large percentage of the carbohydrates/sugars consumed will be converted into fat, leading to an increase in fat storage within your body.

Within 40 minutes

Your body has absorbed the caffeine from the soda beverage. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your pancreas reacts by dumping even more sugar/glucose into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked, preventing drowsiness.

These high insulin levels can also cause too much glucose to enter your cells. When this happens, your blood sugar level not only drops, but it drops below normal levels, causing low blood sugar (glucose) levels, also known as hypoglycemia. (See what happens “After 60 minutes”).

Around 45 minutes

Your body increases dopamine production, which in return stimulates pleasure centers in your brain. This is a physically identical response to that of heroin! WWWeeeeeeee! Sounds cool, right? Well, just wait, there’s something not so pleasant waiting for you around the corner.

Around 60 minutes

The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners. As a result of this action, the urinary excretion of calcium, a nutrient that is essential for our bodies to function optimally, increases. Oh-oh.

After 60 minutes

The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play, causing you to have to pee. It is now assured that you will evacuate bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as hydrating minerals such as sodium, electrolytes and water. Not only are vital nutrients being stripped and prevented from going to your bones, but a dehydrating strain upon the body is also developing.

You have literally peed away all the water that was in the Coke/soda… but not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for hydrating your system or building strong bones and teeth. This contributes to a decrease in bone density, thus putting you at future risk for fractures and severe health conditions such as osteopenia and osteoporosis.

After 60 minutes (continued)

As the rave inside of you dies down, you’ll start to have a sugar crash, also known as hypoglycemia/low blood sugar. You may become irritable and/or sluggish, fatigued, light-headed and hungry (or in many cases, HANGRY!).

It’s quite possible that you will now be on a mission to satisfy your hunger and cravings. Maybe you will dive face first into a food binge. Those potato chips and chocolate that weren’t appealing to you earlier (pre-soda) are now screaming out for attention and look mighty inviting.

If you happen to make poor nutrition choices at this time by throwing more refined carbohydrates and sugars into your body, all that craziness that happened with your hormones and blood sugar levels may very easily start all over from the beginning, and there you have it… a vicious, ugly (and dangerous) fat storing cycle, which may lead to serious complications such as diabetes and the birth of the infamous muffin top.

Yes… I said it… MUFFIN TOP!!

So there you have it, an avalanche of destruction in a single can. Imagine drinking this day after day, week after week! You would have a war within your body happening EVERY day. The health consequences of this are HUGE.

Health dangers of soda

Soda and sugarJust one extra can of soda per day can add as much as 10-15 pounds to your weight over the course of ONE year.

  • One soda per day increases your risk of diabetes by 85 percent.
  • Drinking soda on a daily basis makes you more likely to develop heart disease. According to a study published in 2007 in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, subjects who drank a soda every day over a four-year period had a 25% chance of developing high blood sugar levels and a 32% greater chance of developing lower “good” cholesterol levels.
  • The Nurses’ Health Study found that women who drank more than two sugary beverages per day had a 40% higher risk of heart attacks or death from heart disease than women who rarely drank sugary beverages.
  • Soda drinkers have increased cancer risk.
  • Soda has been shown to cause DNA damage, courtesy of sodium benzoate, a preservative found in many soft drinks. This chemical has the ability to turn off vital parts of your DNA, which can lead to debilitating diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver and Parkinson’s Disease.
  • There are over 92 different health side effects associated with the chemical aspartame, which is used as a sugar substitute in many diet drinks. Included in this list are brain tumors, ADHD, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders, cancer, vision problems, depression and epilepsy/seizures. (To learn more about artificial sweeteners like aspartame, check out my article, “Sweet But Dangerous – The Truth Behind Artificial Sweeteners.” )
  • Sugar and sweeteners found in soft drinks are considered more addictive than heroin and cocaine.

Get help and quit the can!

Are you a habitual soda drinker and want to lose ten pounds? Get some help and kick the can – for good. Do whatever you need to do to kick the habit. In my professional opinion, there is NO reason why you or your children should be drinking soda. None, nada, zip, zero. Soda does not provide any nutritional benefits – only hard. For tips on how to do this, please contact me for some help.


1. Sweet but Dangerous – The Truth Behind Artificial Sweeteners

2. Not So Sweet – The Average American Consumes 150-170 Pounds Of Sugar Each Year

3. Want Fat Loss? Stop Counting Calories!

I want to hear from you

  • What are your thoughts about soda? Do you drink it?
  • Have you had success in quitting a soda habit? If so, do you have any tips to share with readers about what helped you remove soda from your or your children’s diets?

I want to hear from you. Your comments may help others who are struggling with a soda addiction!




Author Details
Founder and CEO of BambooCore
Jennifer is a certified NASM Personal Trainer, MovNat Trainer, and a C.H.E.K Holistic Lifestyle/Nutrition Coach. As the Founder and CEO of BambooCore Fitness, she delivers sustainable lifestyle, nutrition and movement strategies to people looking to improve their health and performance.

When she is not slaying fat and building muscle, Jennifer can be found trekking barefoot, traveling, cooking and refining her photography skills. She also enjoys reading and writing about food culture, history and the science of human movement.
Founder and CEO of BambooCore
Jennifer is a certified NASM Personal Trainer, MovNat Trainer, and a C.H.E.K Holistic Lifestyle/Nutrition Coach. As the Founder and CEO of BambooCore Fitness, she delivers sustainable lifestyle, nutrition and movement strategies to people looking to improve their health and performance.

When she is not slaying fat and building muscle, Jennifer can be found trekking barefoot, traveling, cooking and refining her photography skills. She also enjoys reading and writing about food culture, history and the science of human movement.


  1. Colleen C.

    Please fix typos, thank you, and I forgot to say I drink 8 8oz glasses of water every day, this actually helps with sweet cravings and overeating.

  2. Colleen C.

    My son teally liked sugar and so did I, when I kicked the habit, it was so hard, but I didn’t drink soda, didn’t buy it, my son only drank it when he was with other people or at the movies, I remember his friend didn’t like it that they had to split a small soda, at the movies. Another friend, across the street was diagnosed with type one diabetes, but they consumed sodas everyday and ate only white bread, among other poor eating habits, he was like 10 when he was diagnosed, I still wonder if it wasn’t type two diabetes.
    I did have some withdrawls, and I think what is known as a crisis, and I thought I was really sick, but got on the internet and found out my symptoms could happen when the body is detoxing. I ate only whole grains and brown sugar, and some sugar with oatmeal and soy ice cream, and fruit tarts, lots of more healthy choices but still too much sugar. Now, I just do agave and coconut sugar, and I’m trying to severely limit that too.
    I’m 60 and my sister and brother both have diabetes, so it is scary to me. My sister is in 3rd stage kidney failure, and I told her, you have to think of it (sugar) as poison to your kidneys.
    My sister in-law drinks diet soda, and she feels like her teeth are rotting from the inside out, I told stop drinking soda. I don’t think she has.
    Good news is, I’m almost done, lol. My husband stopped drinking soda 22 years ago, and my son is 23 and has a very keen awareness of not eating sugar, and other things, we make everything from scratch, it takes longer, but then we know what’s in it. My son will not eat anything without reading the ingredients, lol, so it does pay off, to teach your kids the Truth!
    I would like your opinion on canola oil, thank you for all the good information.

  3. I really need help kicking the can! I work 3rd shift at a nursing home and sometimes drink one maybe 2 bottles of soda a night. Not including during the day. I developed a kidney stone our guess is soda being the cause. What are some tips to help ween off of this drug. Please help!

    1. Hi Caitlin, thank you very much for your comment. I am sorry to hear that you have developed a kidney stone – I have heard how uncomfortable and painful stones can be! There is definitely a strong possibility that your kidney stone is related to your soda consumption.

      When it comes to kicking the can, there are several things you can do to help yourself ween off the habit. Here are a few:

      1) Get to the Root of the Addiction: As with any addiction, one essential thing to do is to try to figure out why you are drinking so much soda and so often. Is it for the caffeine? Is it stress related? Do you crave sweetness? Does it make you feel happy? Does it fill a void? Is it out of boredom? Once you dig deep and learn WHY you are drinking soda, it will be much easier to come up with solutions of HOW to change. To have long-term success in kicking habits, it is necessary to get to the root of the problem. This way you can make the appropriate (targeted) lifestyle changes and increase your changes for success.

      2) Hydrate: Do you drink water throughout the day? I suggest making sure that you hydrate during the day and night with water. When the urge for soda strikes, reach for a glass or bottle of water first. If it is the carbonation that you crave, then reach for sparkling or seltzer water. If plain water irks you, then sweeten it with lemon, lime, or a splash of cranberry juice.

      3) Drink tea: If you are drinking soda for caffeine… you may want to try drinking unsweetened green tea instead. This way you will get the caffeine but also get beneficial nutrients associated with the tea.

      3) Seek Support: Tell others (possibly coworkers) that you are trying to kick the habit. When others around you know your goals, a support system is formed and these people may help you stay accountable and on track. They will also be around to help support you when you go through any withdrawal symptoms.

      4) Get a Health/Nutrition Coach: If you would like more one-on-one help, feel free to contact me (Jennifer Regan) at If you live outside of MA we can always do online or phone coaching. I would be more than happy to help you reach your goals of being soda-free. 🙂 In the meantime, you can post questions here or on my Facebook page ( and I will help in any way I can.

      5) GOOD LUCK! 🙂

  4. Carter

    Wow! I stopped drinking soda a couple of years ago and don’t miss it at all – thank goodness – as I do miss cupcakes when I give those up.
    I am concerned about my children drinking soda. Of course I can’t always be around to police them. As they get older they have to decide for themselves but it is disturbing that soda is so much a part of the American diet and people do not seem to know or believe that it is soooo bad for you – even deadly! How do you explain to children that something that is approved by the FDA and consumed at the dinner table by millions of Americans could kill them???
    Is there any more info on diet soda that you can share?
    Thanks for the great article!

    1. Congrats on “kicking the can”! It is amazing how once it is out of your life for a significant amount of time, you do not miss it. I can’t even imagine even taking a sip of soda these days. Nothing about that sounds appealing to me! Cupcakes, on the other hand… you are right – for many that kind of sugar is VERY hard to quit. I find the most helpful thing when giving up something like sugar is to A) Learn and understand why you gravitate toward that particular food. Once you can fully understand and identify why you crave a food (that may not be so beneficial for you), you will have something more concrete to focus on and “fix” if it needs fixing. Much of our food addictions stems from the emotional and psychological connections we have with food. If we do not address the root of what is causing us to lean toward a certain addiction, we will never cure ourselves of the addiction.

      I also agree with you that it is disturbing that soda is so much a part of the American diet, despite the fact that it is unhealthy for us. We can not be with our children 24/7 to police them with their food choices, but we can always do our best to “do by showing,” by leading by example, and by providing kids as much information on the subject as possible. Parents are huge influences on their children’s habits and we all hope that by empowering our children at home, they will some day take that information and spread it to their peers. Sometimes it helps to get others involved too – your children’s friends and parents, aunts and uncles, school faculty, personal trainers, sports coaches, etc. (A lot of times it’s easier for kids to get advice from role models other than their parents). There may be bumps and gripes along the way, but with the right support, kids are fully capable of making healthy decisions on their own. It may take some work, but with the right tools, we can provide our children with the information, confidence and support needed to cultivate healthy and strong lifestyle habits. I know, I know – easier said than done… but I have some good hands-on visual tools that I have used with children and teenagers to help them understand why certain foods and beverages are unhealthy and dangerous to consume — I will put some of this together into another blog post and share with you and other parents out there soon. I will also do a blog post about diet soda, which in my opinion, is just as bad, if not worse, than regular soda beverages. Stay tuned! 🙂

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