The cans of soda have exactly the same volume,
or size. But their density differs due to what is
dissolved in the soda. Regular soda contains
sugar as a sweetener. If you look at the nutrition
facts on a can of regular soda, you will notice that
it contains sugar...a lot of sugar. In some cases a
12 ounce can of regular soda will contain over
40 grams of sugar. Diet sodas, on the other hand,
use artificial sweeteners such as aspartame
These artificial sweeteners found in many foods and chewing gums
are more toxic and may
be hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, which
means that less than a few grams of artificial
sweetener is used in a can of diet soda. The
difference in the amount of dissolved sweeteners
leads to a difference in density. Cans of regular soda
tend to be more dense than water, so they sink.
Cans of diet soda are usually less dense than water,
so they float.
Regular soda may also contain the toxic sweetener
high fructose corn syrup
which is slightly sweeter
than sucrose. Both regular soda and diet soda cause dehydration, mineral depletion, caffeine dependence
and correlate with weight gain, obesity,
and metabolic syndrome. They're also
responsible for an increased risk of vascular events
such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death
Our pleasure in consuming sweet solutions is driven to a great extent by the amount of energy it provides
. The greatest rewards in the brain are attributed to sugars compared to artificial sweeteners which offer only short-term pleasure at a huge health cost.
Using artificial sweeteners may actually throw off the body's ability to monitor how many calories we consume. Rats fed an artificially sweetened diet tend to overeat when given naturally sweetened high-calorie food compared with rats that had never consumed artificial sweeteners.
People who consume soft drinks such as Coke have a 48% increase in heart attack and stroke risk, compared to people who did not drink the sodas at all or did not drink them every day.
A study published in the journal Respirology reveals that soft drink consumption is associated with lung and breathing disordersincluding asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The carbonation in Coke causes calcium loss in the bones through a three-stage process:
- The carbonation irritates the stomach.
- The stomach "cures" the irritation the only way it knows how. It adds the only antacid at its disposal: calcium. It gets this from the blood.
- The blood, now low on calcium, replenishes its supply from the bones. If it did not do this, muscular and brain function would be severely impaired.
But, the story doesn't end there. Another problem with most Coke is it also contain phosphoric acid (not the same as the carbonation, which is carbon dioxide mixed with the water). This substance also causes a drawdown on the store of calcium.
So Coke softens your bones (actually, they make them weak and brittle) in three ways:
- Carbonation reduces the calcium in the bones.
- Phosphoric acid reduces the calcium in the bones.
- The beverage replaces a calcium-containing alternative, such as milk or water. Milk and water are not excellent calcium sources, but they are sources.
Overall, if you are consuming any type of soda, whether regular or diet, you're certainly not doing your health a service. Soda is dangerous at any consumption level, so select fresh juices, water or coconut water to quench your thirst because nothing will hydrate you better.
Natasha Longo has a master's degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.