Soda is one of society’s favorite beverages. Each year, billions of gallons of soda are sold in the United States alone. Though it is popular with men, women, and children, many experts believe drinking soda may have serious health consequences.
What is it made of?
Soda is a chemical compound containing Sodium and carbonates. Sodium bicarbonate also known as sodium hydrogen carbonate, is a widely used form of soda in all soft drinks, cocktails and alcoholic beverages as well.
The basic form of sodium bicarbonate is white, soluble, solid and the crystalline powder which is mixed with water, is used to make soda water, widely used in soft drinks and other alcoholic beverages and drinks. Conversationally, sodium bicarbonate is called sodium bicarb, bicarb soda or merely bicarb. It is mildly alkaline in taste. Read more on soda ingredients.
The history of soda begins back when scientists had discovered that the bubbles in natural mineral water were caused by Carbon dioxide.
In 1767, an Englishmen named Joseph Priestly had created a man-made glass of carbonated water which was suitable to drink.
The healthy news about Mineral Water
It was considered that drinking mineral water was healthy. Near around 1807, medicinal and flavoured herbs were added to mineral waters by the American pharmacist.
Customers wanted to take the healthy drinks home and from here is where a bottling industry had begun.
During this time, over a thousand patents were filed for caps, forks and lids to be used on the carbonated drink bottles. The bubbled were escaping from the bottle and inventors had tried finding ways of preventing it. However, in 1892, a cork bottle seal was patented by a Baltimore machine shop operator. This had solved the problem of bubbles escaping.
In 1899, a glass-blowing machine was decided for producing automatic glass bottles. In the past, glass bottles were hand-blown and after a few years, a new bottle-blowing machine had existed. At this time, producing bottles was slow. But after another few years, the number of bottles being produced was multiplied in huge amounts going over tens of thousands of bottles a day!
During the early 1900's, vending machines began to appear as well as a "Home-Pak", similar to the cartons which are made out of cardboard.
 Health benefits
Some studies have suggested a link between drinking soda and Obesity. Soda is high in Sugar and Calories. Combined with its practically nonexistent nutritional value, soda may cause drinkers to pack on the pounds without receiving even the smallest nutritional benefit. Surprisingly, drinking diet soda has been linked to weight gain as well. However, some experts assert that Obesity may be caused not by drinking soda, but by the combination of drinking soda and leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Drinking soda has been shown to contribute to tooth decay. Spokesmen for the soda industry have conceded this point. Interestingly, in recent years, levels of tooth decay in the United States and similarly developed countries have decreased. This is in spite of the fact that more people are drinking soda than ever before. At the same time, levels of Obesity have risen.
Obviously, the Sugar consumption involved in drinking soda is cited for causing tooth decay. However, the acid in soda has been shown to erode tooth enamel, leading to dental cavities as well. In fact, the acid in soda can begin damaging enamel just 20 minutes after drinking soda.
Caffeine dependence may also form as a result of drinking soda that contains Caffeine. Some health care advocates assert that caffeine may interfere with brain development in children. So far, however, this assertion has not been proven. Research suggests that individuals can develop caffeine dependence as a result of drinking soda and may experience withdrawal when caffeine consumption decreases.
Another unfortunate health effect of drinking soda is the weakening of bones. Some animal studies have shown that Phosphorus in soda leaches Calcium from bones. Similar studies on humans have suggested that drinking soda may lead to a tendency toward broken bones.
 Soda Applications
Soda is most synonymous with Soda water and is a commonly used ingredient of soft drinks, soda fountain, Pepsi Soda, Coca Cola and Diet Coke. Undoubtedly, the most important application of soda is in the soft drinks industry. The other areas of application include cooking, medicine, personal hygiene and as a cleansing agent. Sodium bicarbonate (Soda) acts as a neutralizer for acids and bases. It is atmospheric in nature and thus, it is used in maintaining the pH balance of Water and blood.
Interesting Soda Trivia: Did you know that the soft drink and soda industry is an yearly $68 billion business?
 Soda Nutrition Facts
We have heard of the cons of soda a zillion times from dietitians. Every time we visit a dentist, he is almost ready with a "fire speech" for us, for consuming that one can of our favorite soda!
Well, there for sure, are no Vitamins, Proteins or fiber in soda. It has a high water, Minerals and Sugar content. Although they cannot be called the healthiest ingredients of all, they definitely are good for our body for a few reasons. If you think soda is only meant to harm your health, think again!
- Soda has high water content which means, if consumed optimally, soda will hydrate your body.
- Soda is not exactly an energy drink, it contains sugar, which energizes your body.
- Regular Pepsi and Coke sodas contain about 90% Water and Diet Coke contains about 99% water which is definitely not bad for your body.
- Diet Coke Soda contains zero calories which makes it impossible for a person to gain weight through its consumption. But if Diet Coke is consumed regularly, your body may get accustomed to zero calories that come from artificial sweeteners. This will desensitize your body from zero calories and the next time you have regular Sugar, it may cause a sudden weight gain, no matter how less calories you consume.
- Soda is the best acidity regulator. It helps in neutralizing acidity problems in the body.
- Soda contains phosphate stripping ingredients that are not good for your teeth and causes tooth decay, if consumed in large amounts.
- A can of regular soda may contain about 100-150 calories. When you drink a can of soda, you are taking empty calories as these calories are not mixed with any nutrients. The empty calories get directly infused in your blood which might increase blood sugar level and harm your health.
- Soda also contains caffeine and its content is not printed on a soft drink can.Caffeine may energize you temporarily, but in the long run it may cause high blood pressure and migraine.
 Health Benefits of Soda
I have already mentioned the soda nutrition facts. Now here's a list of the health benefits of soda.
- Soda is used in the medical domain. Sodium bicarbonate is a well known antacid, which means it neutralizes acidity problems in our digestive system.
- Soda is also used in maintaining the pH balance of blood.
- Soda also acts as an antiseptic cleanser when used in mouthwash and Toothpaste.
- Soda has antiseptic properties. A paste of sodium bicarbonate is used as an antiseptic to cure insect bites.
Interesting Soda Trivia: Did you know that Americans drink over 13 billion gallons of soft drinks each year?
 Is Soda Good or Bad: The Verdict
Let us admit that the nutritional value of soda is low. But if I had to decide whether it is good or bad for our health, I would say, neither. Soda is neither good nor bad for your health; the amount in which it is consumed is. As far as tooth decay is concerned, you can always brush your teeth after consuming that favorite soft drink. You can switch to Diet Coke if you are a fitness freak but always remember not to make it an addictive habit. Any substance, not just soda, if consumed in excessive amounts, could prove harmful to your health. Besides, what harms your body is replacing your natural diet with soda and soft drinks. Always remember to have soda in an optimum quantity. You should never skip your regular meals for soda. So the next time you eat out in a junk food-joint, grab a bite and sip a lil' soda. After all, soda also acts as an acidity regulator! More on is diet soda bad for you.
Go ahead, sip a glass of soda, but remember the dangers of its excessive consumption. Enjoy the fizz!