drinking soda

  1. Skip soda to lower BP

    There are plenty of great reasons to skip the soda and pass on all those other sugary drinks, and now there's one more: Doing so can help lower your blood pressure.

    Not by a lot, mind you--but since it's healthy, free and comes with no side effects, why wouldn't you take advantage of it?

    Researchers looked at 810 people between the ages of 25 and 70, all of whom had either prehypertension or stage I hypertension. At the start of the study, they were drinking an average of 10.5 ounces of sugary drinks, a touch less than a can of soda, every day.

    But 18 months after ditching that daily sugar shock, the participants had shaved an average of 1.8 off their systolic blood pressure, and 1.1 off their diastolic blood pressure levels.

    Now, I know that's not a dramatic dip in blood pressure, and passing on sugary drinks alone won't solve anyone's hypertensions problems. But it's a start and, combined with other natural solutions and lifestyle changes, it could become a small building block in a larger, healthier structure.

    And since the researchers found that the blood pressure effects were tied to sugar consumption, not caffeine, you don't even have to give up your coffee.

    The researchers didn't look at heavy soda consumers... so if you're drinking a Big Gulp a day, it's entirely possible that you could see an even bigger dip in blood pressure by simply switching over to a healthier drink or plain old water.

    But if you're still unimpressed, then consider all the other reasons to avoid sugary drinks: Empty calories, excess sugar, risk of obesity and heart problems, and a host of unholy additives and preservatives.

    One recent study found that young men who drink soda have 30 percent fewer sperm than those who don't.

    Some people even use soda to bring the shine back to copper coins.

    If it can do that to pennies, imagine what it's doing to your insides!

    Better yet, don't imagine... just stop drinking this stuff. You'll be healthier, and you'll enjoy lower blood pressure, too.

  2. Soda hits below the waistline

    Soda might be especially bad for kids... but it could be even worse for men who hope to have their own kids someday.

    A new study finds that young men who drink a quart of cola each day have 30 percent fewer sperm swimming around. A quart may sound like a lot of soda--but it's really just two of those 16-ounce plastic bottles most people consume easily enough.

    Danish researchers looked at 2,500 young men and found that those who didn't drink soda had a healthy 50 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Those who downed that daily quart, on the other hand, had an average of 35 million sperm per milliliter of semen, according to the study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

    That's still enough to make a baby... but since lower sperm is linked to lower fertility, clearly these young men have a higher risk of reproductive problems--especially if those levels continue to fall as they age.

    The researchers say cola alone may not be causing the sperm problems, since the soda-slurpers also tended to have unhealthier lifestyles. They were, for the most part, fast- food eaters. And like a lot of cola-loving youths, they didn't make much time for fresh fruit and veggies.

    But while these other reasons might also help explain millions of missing sperm, the researchers believe they know one thing that's not causing it: caffeine. The study also found that men who drank coffee or tea instead of soda did not suffer from lower sperm levels.

    Researchers are interested in what all that pop does to men since Danish youths have been increasing their consumption of this carbonated liquid poison. But if they're really looking for some answers, they don't need a study--they just need to look across the sea.

    Americans consume more soda than any other people--and we're also among the most overweight and diabetic. Soda is one of the prime ingredients fueling our problem-packed unhealthy lifestyle.

    Soda has also been linked to tooth decay, liver problems and cell damage. Cell damage can actually disrupt your DNA, leading to conditions like Parkinson's disease and cirrhosis.

    And soda can also causes bone loss and poor mineralization, increasing the risk of broken bones and setting the stage for osteoporosis.

    All that's bad enough... but for men--especially young men-- none of that may seem as bad as the idea of being less manly.

  3. Gross new reasons to skip soda

    If you're drinking soda, you may as well be drinking from the toilet.

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