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Why You Should Always Reach for Water: The Dangers of Sugary Drinks

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Summer in the south is hot and humid. Spend any amount of time outside, especially if it involves running around, and you’ll be craving something to cure your dehydration. But unfortunately for a lot of people in the south, that cure involves something sugary and sweet, like soda.

“About half of the United States adult population drinks a soda a day,” SouthCoast Health Family Physician Leland Dampier, MD stated. “Georgia is one of the top five states with the highest sugar consumption, with about one in three Georgian adults drinking soda a day. But I’m sure if that more adults knew what they were doing to their bodies, they would work hard to never drink soda again.”

To explain why it’s always better to reach for water, especially in the hot summertime months, we’re discussing why it’s best to avoid soda and instead reach for a cool glass of water.

Why You Shouldn’t Drink Soda

You’ve probably heard lots of reasons why you should avoid soda. In fact, there are countless studies and articles listing a multitude of scary reasons to avoid sodas, like how sugary soda leads to insulin resistance or an increased risk of dementia.

We’ve compiled some of the biggest reasons why you shouldn’t drink soda, but know that this is only a fraction of the full list.

  1. Check out the nutritional value information on the back of a soda. You probably won’t be surprised to see that it has absolutely no nutritional value for you, except for the fact that they’re high in sugar and calories. That combo leads to a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and blood sugar imbalances.
  2. Even if you reach for a soda to help quench your thirst during a hot summer day, it won’t do you justice. Sodas are actually dehydrating, meaning it has the opposite effect than a cup of water would do.
  3. Aside from sugar being addictive, caffeine has also been found to have addiction-like symptoms for its consumers. That means soda has not one but two addictives in its formula. Children and teenagers are often the biggest consumers for soda, which means when they grow into adults they may have a harder time eating a healthier diet and may have delayed brain function.
  4. Since soda contains a lot of sugar, it’s not surprising that soda also leads to tooth decay. In fact, people who regularly drink sodas are way more likely to have cavities and no tooth enamel.
  5. Kidney stones and soda also have a relationship. Those who drink more sodas, especially dark ones, are more likely to experience painful kidney stones, as the high levels of phosphoric acids in soda weaken your kidneys and liver.
  6. This study actually showed that those who drink a daily 12-ounce serving of soda increases their risk of cardiovascular disease by a total of 19 percent.
  7. Aside from the above issues, high levels of soda consumed also lead to fatigue, headaches, increased risk for ADHD, lack of calcium, more fat in your liver, higher risk of cancer, a suppressed immune system, moodiness, and decreased brain function.

The Benefits of Drinking Water

You’ve probably heard that you’re supposed to drink about eight cups of water per day. While that fact isn’t actually scientifically proven, it is good to shoot for water-consuming goal similar. In fact, it’s easier to not hydrate yourself enough than it is to over hydrate yourself. When in doubt, reach for a glass of water.

Just like with the reasons to avoid soda, there are countless benefits of drinking water. We’ve compiled some of our favorites below!

  1. When you keep yourself fully hydrated, you also keep your blood happy and healthy, meaning oxygen has an easier time being carried through your body. In addition, your blood will become thicker if you’re not drinking enough water, leading to increased blood pressure.
  2. If you are dehydrated, then your skin is more susceptible to skin disorders and wrinkling.
  3. Drinking water keeps your mouth clean and produces enough saliva to digest your food properly. Plus, water keeps your mouth, nose, and eyes moist like they need to be.
  4. Drinking more soda leads to increased fat. However, drinking more water leads to weight loss. In fact, if you drink water before every meal, it will help you feel full faster, preventing overeating. 
  5. About to work-out for more than 30 minutes? Studies show that if you get to the gym dehydrated, your work-out results will be extremely limited. Drink enough water to boost your work-out.
  6. Water helps to flush out all the body waste in your body. If you don’t drink enough, you will experience digestive problems like constipation, increased risk of heartburn, and even stomach ulcers.
  7. Especially during the summertime, it’s extremely important to stay cool. The best way to do that is by drinking enough water, which leads to a healthy amount of sweating. That’s your body’s core way of regulating your temperature.
  8. Not drinking enough even affects your brain! Without enough water, hormones and neurotransmitters are affected, meaning thinking and reasoning may go out the window.
  9. Have bad summer allergies? Drink more water! If you’re dehydrated, your airways become restricted, meaning allergies and asthma become worse.
  10. One of the worst physical symptoms of dehydration is headaches and migraines. If you are hydrated and experiencing a headache, drinking more water can help relieve yourself of that pain.

It’s hot in Savannah during the summertime. Next time you’re dying for something cool and refreshing to drink, remember to grab a glass of water and leave the soda behind.

If you have any more questions about the negatives of soda or the benefits of water, click here to schedule an appointment with any of SouthCoast Health’s general physicians.


Whether you are looking for a primary care doctor or a pediatrician, or another medical specialist, SouthCoast Health has you covered with its wide range of world-class healthcare services, available throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. SouthCoast Health has 120 physicians and medical professionals in 18 locations in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Pooler, Rincon, Baxley, Bluffton, Hilton Head, and Hinesville. SouthCoast Health offers comprehensive medical services including: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Allergy and Immunity, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Eye Care, Imaging, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Neurology, Physical Therapy, Podiatry, Sleep Medicine, Surgery, Clinical Trial Research Studies, Diabetic Self-Management Training Sessions, Dietetic Counseling, High Risk Breast Cancer Clinic, Laboratory Services, Massage Therapy, Optical Shop, Pharmacy, and Urgent Care.

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