Hey! Yes, you over there with the vodka and Sprite. You’re not going to like this, but you should put that down.

Whether we’re mixing it with alcohol or drinking it straight from the can at a family barbeque, the average American drinks two cans of soda each day. That’s the average, and there are a lot of us that don’t drink any at all.

That two-a-day average is about 275 extra empty and harmful calories each day for regular soda. Not to mention the sugar, chemicals, and fake additives. Well, actually, I am going to mention them below, along with the remaining top reasons why you should drink less soda!

Related: 5 Tips for Better Eating Habits

Sugar

One can of soda sets you back about 33 grams of sugar. Americans are consuming WAY too much regular sugar as it is — not to mention the refined white flours, bred-for-sugar fruits, and slew of simple carbohydrates that don’t look anything like whole grains. And most of the sodas in the U.S. don’t even use real sugar; they use high fructose corn syrup.

Sugar is not an essential nutrient (though my cookie-loving half might disagree), so there is no recommended daily allowance set by the Institute of Medicine. However, most sources suggest limiting your sugar to about 20-50 grams per day. That’s maybe two chocolate chip cookies or one can of soda, so take your pick!

Fake Sugar

Okay, so we don’t love real sugar, but at least it’s real in some some sense. Fake sugar, on the other hand, is not — hence the fake. You’d think high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) would be healthier since it has corn in the name, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

HFCS comes from GMO corn and is linked to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, and is as far from a real food as you can get. Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are linked to allergic reactions, cancer, and toxicity within the body. So if you think that your Diet Coke is better than a regular Coke, think again my friend.

Water

After the revelation that it takes three liters of water to produce just one liter of bottled water, I was flabbergasted. Now, looking at soda, I feel shocked again. For something that dehydrates your body, it requires a surprisingly large amount of water in production.

One two-liter bottle of soda requires as much as 132 gallons of water for production. Plus, a large percentage of soda is manufactured in desert climates and countries where people already have limited access to clean water (such as India).  You’re better off just drinking the water instead of the soda.

Related6 Reasons to Keep Hydrated

Cans

Aluminum: It’s one of the most widely used metals in the world, but once it leeches into your body, it can harm your central nervous system, interrupt calcium absorption, and possibly contribute to brain decay, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

Not to mention all the water used in the making of the can, or the biomatter than may be contaminating the lips of the cans before you get to them. (And don’t get me started on the BPA lining the cans. This little chemical is going straight to any cancer-creating factories in your body.)

Additionally, the aluminum industry is rough on the environment. For every ton of metal produced, one ton of toxins is left behind. Some people tell you to switch to glass, but that’s not a great solution either. Glass is much heavier, meaning it requires more fuel to transport, i.e. wasting more natural resources.

Teeth

You know that you can clean a penny with cola, right? And if you leave said penny soaking for too long, the cola will eventually eat away at the metal as well. Yeah, Coke eats metal, and it’s eating your teeth too! The tooth decay from soda has actually been compared to that of meth. (Yeah, like that Breaking Bad stuff.)

Soda eats away at your protective tooth enamel, making your entire mouth more vulnerable to disease and infection. If you must have your soda, at least use and straw and rinse your mouth with water immediately after drinking.

Related4 Cheap Ways to Whiten Teeth

 

Image: Shardayyy