Science Says: Soda is Killing Your Brain

Have you stopped drinking drinks with a lot of sugar? If so, that's a great idea. But if you've switched it out for something sugar-free, you might be doing a lot of damage to your brain. For people over 45, drinking diet soda triples their risk of having a stroke or dementia and does a lot more harm than you think. But there are great, healthy drinks that you can drink instead of soda that will help you kick the habit for good.

We should start with the bad news and end with the good. It's better to end on a good note.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, false information about food caused a huge health crisis that spread across the country with no stops. People started to think that fat, not sugar, was the bad guy because of studies that were paid for by sugar companies but were completely false. This led to terrible health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. People still believe that one lie, even though they know the bad news about sugar and the good news about fat. The bad guy is sugar, and healthy fats are what we need to stay healthy.

People still drink too much soda, though, even though we know this. When you drink too much soda, you get too much sugar, which is bad for your body and even your brain. What about diet sodas, though? That's better, right? Well, read-on because you may be surprised!

Increased Risk of Dementia and Stroke

Boston University researchers looked at how much soda almost 3,000 people, some of whom were over 45 years old, drank. Around this age group, the statistics got really bad. People over 45 who drink diet soda on a daily basis are three times more likely to get dementia or have a stroke. This risk stays the same even when other risk factors like smoking, food, overeating, and exercise level are taken into account.

Accelerated Brain Aging Found

Researchers used MRI scans, cognitive tests, and available data to find that people who drank more than three sodas or two more sugary drinks per day had smaller brain volumes. The hippocampus in these people actually shrank in size. This made the brain age faster, which made memories worse. Sadly, these things put you at risk for Alzheimer's. The brain volume was also smaller in people who drank diet soda.

Other Things Diet Soda is Doing to Your Body

It's not just your brain that gets hurt when you drink diet soda. Here are some more health effects that have been studied in depth.

  • Kidney damage: Chronic diet soda drinkers have 30% less kidney function than those who don't drink it.
  • Kidney stones: Minerals are being flushed out of people who drink soda all the time, which can lead to kidney stones.
  • Depression: A 30% greater chance of becoming depressed exists for people who drink more than four cans of diet soda every day.
  • Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome: If you drink diet soda every day, you're 67% more likely to get type 2 diabetes and 36% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome.

Better and Healthier Options

That's bad news for people who drink soda and other sugary drinks every day, like fancy coffee, juice, etc., but there is good news. I said I would, right? The good news is that water isn't the only drink you can have. There are many tasty and healthy drinks that can lower your risk of health problems and make you feel better. These are some of my favorites.

Organic Kombucha - If you like fizz that soda offers, kombucha has it for you. It also has probiotics, which feed the good bugs in your gut and make you healthier. If you really want to push yourself, you can make your own kombucha, which the Chinese call "Immortal Health Elixir."

Tea - Tea tastes great and is better for you than pop, whether you drink it hot or cold. Herbal and green drinks are full of nutrients that are good for you. They speed up your metabolism, make you smarter, help you sleep, lower your stress, and even feed your brain, which lowers your risk of getting Alzheimer's by 87%.- You take more risks when you drink soda, but you take less risks when you drink tea.

Homemade soda Recipes

For those who still don't want to drink "soda," why not try making your own healthy versions? These meals are very simple and taste great.

Hibiscus Ginger Ale

If you grow hibiscus flowers, you can make a lovely-flavored tea with the dried flowers. It tastes good and cools you down when you mix tea with ginger.

Ingredients:


  • 1/2 cup of organic hibiscus flowers
  • 3/4 cup coconut crystals
  • 1/4 cup grated ginger root
  • Juice from 1/2 fresh organic lemon
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • Carbonated water

Directions:


  1. Combine the flowers, ginger root, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and 1 cup of filtered water in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Stir to be sure that all the coconut sugar has dissolved.
  4. Strain all of the syrup into a glass jar; squeeze the solids to get the most flavor.
  5. Discard the flowers and ginger root.
  6. To make soda, mix 3 tablespoons of syrup with 8 ounces of carbonated water.
  7. Store in the fridge and use within a few days for best results.

Citrus Soda

This is the drink for you if you like drinks that wake you up. This homemade soda is fantastic because it tastes great, is full of vitamin C, and is good for you.

Ingredients:


  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 1/2 orange
  • 2 limes
  • 1 cup of coconut crystals

Directions:


  1. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the fruit.
  2. Cut the fruit in half and extract the juice with a juice squeezer.
  3. Pour the juice into a glass measuring cup and add enough filtered water to make one cup of liquid.
  4. Combine the liquid, zest, and coconut sugar in a small saucepan.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
  6. Remove it when all of the sugar is dissolved.
  7. Let the mixture cool, and then strain into a glass jar.
  8. Stir 3 tablespoons into cold carbonated water to make a delicious summertime treat.
  9. Store in the fridge and use within 3 days for best results.

In Closing - Remember To...

Always be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water daily, in addition to these great-tasting soda alternatives.

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