You’ve heard a million times that soda is bad for you, but maybe you still enjoy the occasional soft drink. There’s nothing wrong with soda every now and then, right? Well, the minute you drink soda, changes occur within your body, especially in your veins.
First off, the immediate change is the sugar now pulsing through your body, which makes you feel energized and alert. Many sodas also contain some level of caffeine, which now has your nerves in high gear.
Needless to say, you feel good, but are you really good?
A recent study looked at 28 young adults who had their blood continuously sampled throughout an entire day. The participants consumed a normal breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During morning and afternoon tea, the participants received a can of soda.
When you consume a sugary food like chocolate, that sugar is broken down and released slowly into the body. Soda in sugar doesn’t get broken down and hits your body quickly – within 30 minutes to be exact. This causes glucose levels to spike dramatically. When this occurs, your body produces more insulin, which instructs your cells to take in as much sugar as they can. This is when your cells will either burn what it can or store what it cannot. This quickly begins to remove sugar from the blood along with providing you with energy.
Unfortunately, your cells can’t suck up all this excess sugar, so your levels continue to remain high, which can lead to damage to your blood vessels. This results in more insulin being produced and released.
For the participants, the two cans of soda were enough to keep sugar levels high all day. Even as the day dwindled, and sugar levels dropped, insulin levels still remained high. This suggests that merely two cans of soda are enough to make your pancreas work overtime.
Senior author Professor Bronwyn Kingwell explained, “If you did this day in, day out, your pancreas would be under considerable stress – and this is how diabetes can develop. Having a little can of soft drink in the morning is going to have lasting effects throughout the day.”
This is how diabetes is caused. Over time, your cells become resistant to the insulin causing the pancreas to continuously work harder and ultimately burn out.
Aside from insulin resistance, another interesting situation occurs. Insulin tells your body to burn sugar, but also stop burning fat. Normally, the body will burn a bit of both to function, but due to the spike of insulin after a soda, your ability to burn fat reduces.
As you can see, sugary beverages like a soda can do some serious damage to your body, even with such a small amount. Regardless of your intake of soda is, it is highly advised that you cut back in order to protect the health of your veins and pancreas.