Stay away from sugary drinks!

Stay away from sugary drinks!

When consumed in excess, added sugar can adversely affect your health. However, some sources of sugar are worse than others — and sugary drinks are by far the worst.

This primarily applies to sugary soda but also to fruit juices, highly sweetened coffees, and other sources of liquid sugar.

Here are some reasons that sugary soda is bad for your health.

Artificial Sweetener Side Effects

Not all sugar-free carbonated drinks contain alternative sweeteners, so check the ingredient list for aspartame, saccharin, sucaralose and acesulfame potassium. If one of these artificial ingredients is in your beverage, it may pose potential health side effects. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, these artificial ingredients may promote certain forms of cancer, thyroid problems and preterm birth. Some people also claim artificial sweeteners cause headaches and dizziness. However, artificial sweeteners still appear on the U.S. Food and Administration's "generally recognized as safe" list. 

Weight Gain

Many people consume sugar-free carbonated beverages because they provide fewer calories than sugar-sweetened alternatives. However, the artificial sweeteners found in these drinks may actually lead to weight gain. According to an article published in the "Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine" in June 2010, eating natural sweeteners activates food reward pathways in your brain, but artificial sweeteners don't fully activate these pathways. This can leave you feeling unsatisfied and lead to an increased appetite, even if you've already eaten enough calories for the day. The intensely sweet flavor of artificial sweeteners may also trigger cravings for sugary food, leading to excess calorie intake.

Metabolic Syndrome

Drinking diet soda daily may cause metabolic problems. According to a study published in April 2009 in the journal "Diabetes Care," people who drink diet soda daily have a 36 percent higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome and a 67 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who consume no diet soda. Metabolic syndrome exists when you have at least three risk factors, including excess stomach fat contributing to an enlarged waist size, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar or a low high-density lipoprotein level.

Teeth and Bone Problems

Carbonated diet drinks can also pose problems for your teeth and bones. Many carbonated beverages contain phosphoric acid, which keeps your drink carbonated. However, it makes the beverage acidic, which may cause erosion of your tooth enamel and promote tooth decay, according to North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension. Phosphoric acid also causes excess calcium to be excreted in urine. Calcium is released from your bones into your bloodstream to replace losses, which may weaken your bones over time. Check the ingredient list of your diet beverage to see if it contains phosphoric acid.