Why carbonated beverages are harmful?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are those who claim that carbonated beverages are harmful because of the carbon dioxide in them. But there is not really any scientific evidence for this.  However, since just about all carbonated beverages contain lots of sugar, they are bad for you.  It's just that they are bad for you because of the sugar, not because they are carbonated.

Theoretically, carbonated beverages could have bad effects because they are acidic.  However, they are not acidic enough to cause any harm if one drinks normal amounts of them.

As I said before, though, the sugar in the beverages really is harmful -- it can decay teeth and it can contribute to such problems as obesity.

versatilekamini | Student

Carbonated beverages have become so much a part of our modern living. A majority of carbonated beverages contain large amounts of refined sugar content of up to 15 teaspoons each in a 325 ml can. One can a day gives you more sugar than is necessary for your body.

Sugar erodes teeth, increases the risks of diabetes, heart disease, indigestion and skin problems. As sugar enters the bloodstream and increases the sugar level rapidly, it causes a dependency situation whereby the body craves for a constant flow of sugar to maintain its levels. This keeps us craving for more, creating a vicious cycle.

Carbonated drinks are made carbon dioxide which is injected into the water under pressure. The more carbon dioxide injected, the lower the pH, the more acidic it gets, the more fizzy it is. Carbon dioxide is a waste product exhaled by human. We don't need carbon dioxide. Too much carbon dioxide kills healthy cells. Dead cells cause an acidic environment.

krishna-agrawala | Student

A carbonated beverage is any beverage, normally non alcoholic, which contains substantial quantity of carbon dioxide in dissolved in it artificially. By this definition, carbonated drink by itself is not harmful. However, many of the carbonated drinks available in the markets may contain some ingredients which may be harmful to health if taken in excess.

There are hundreds different types of popular carbonated beverages manufactured and sold all over the world. It will not be fair to condemn all of them as harmful. If at all some of them are harmful, we need to identify which of the beverages, and what harmful ingredients they contain.

Some of the  previous posts identified sugar as a likely candidate for being labeled as harmful ingredients. But if we accept that then sweets that are taken even by toddlers and even younger children should qualify as harmful to health.

Acids are also frequently identified as harmful ingredients of carbonated beverages, and some beverages may contain specific types and concentration of acids that are harmful. But mere presence of acid is not necessarily bad. Our normal food contains many different types of acids. For example, milk contains lactic acid and lime contains citric acid. As a matter of fact our body itself produces hydrochloric acid which is used in the process of digesting the food.

Thus it appears that the claims of harmful effects of carbonated beverages are highly exaggerated. Laws in most of the countries do not permit manufacture and sale of food products that are clearly health hazards. But anything in excess- including common bread and butter - is harmful. So people who drink carbonated beverages in excess clearly risk their health.

lit24 | Student

Carbonated drinks are harmful for the following reasons:

1. They contain excessive sugar. Consuming carbonated drinks can lead to excessive blood sugar levels which in turn can result in diabetes and obesity.

2. Carbonated drinks are highly acidic and can damage the stomach lining causing ulcers which may become cancerous.

3. Carbonated drinks contain phosphates which result in calcium loss which in turn results in osteoporosis.

But most importantly carbonated drinks have no nutritional value whatsoever.

giorgiana1976 | Student

Countless studies show that carbonated juices are made up of dangerous chemicals, responsible for many digestive diseases (gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome), also for different deficiencies.

Affect tooth enamel

American experts from the University of Rochester in New York warn that acidified juice is very dangerous for tooth enamel, while destroying it at a rate of 84 percent. Also, American studies have shown that acidified juice undo the action of analgesics, and beyond. Even the effect of antibiotics may be annihilated.

Prevent calcium absorption

Carbonated beverages are considered noxious in large part because of the rich content of phosphoric acid, responsible for decreased absorption of calcium and other minerals as important for the proper functioning of the body. Only 500 ml of carbonated juice daily can prevent assimilation of calcium, leading to serious problems of growth and bone development in children. Also, any women over 40 years should not abuse the carbonated soft drinks, because they significantly increase the risk of weakening the bone and even occurrence of osteoporosis.

Increase appetite

Experts have found that fizzy drinks are a risk to the figure due to sugar content, used to substitute pulp. In addition, phosphoric acid and artificial flavorings are guilty for an increased appetite for food.

Benzene, a carcinogenic compound

The amount of benzene in fizzy juicesis is eight times higher than that of water, French researchers stress the Food Standards Agency. Benzene is a combination of vitamin C and sodium benzoate, used as a preservative in soft drinks but also in many alcoholic beverages.The chemical, known as potent carcinogen, is associated in particular with the development of leukemia. If bowel cancer, a refreshing glass of juice a day is more than sufficient to promote cancer cell proliferation.

Energy drinks most dangerous

Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Germany, concluded that energy drinks are dangerous, especially for adolescents, pregnant and nursing women. They are a combination of fructose, taurine and other synthetic chemicals, responsible for the occurrence of digestive problems, but for serious dehydration of the body.

mkcapen1 | Student

One of the most well known harmful effects of carbonated drinks is their effect on teeth.  The acidulation in the beverages breaks down tooth enamel making the tooth vulnerable to tooth decay.

There have not been enough studies to prove the harmful effects of carbonated drinks on the human body but scientists do know the following:

  • Have a high acidic base
  • high intake can result in disruption of digestive process in the stomach
  • increased levels can erode stomach lining
  • it can interfere with the intake of calcium to the body
  • it is often used to replace healthier drinks such as milk or water
  • many of the drinks consumed have a high level of sugar which results in obesity and other health related conditions.



ronablair | Student

Carbonated drinks are harmful first due to the sugar they contain.  They also make a person feel full due to the carbonation, so a lot of useless calories are consumed leaving little  room for healthy foods.  Even sugarless carbonated drinks can be harmful as the sweetner fools the body into thinking it is receiving sugar, and then metabolism is affected.  People who frequently drink a lot of calorie-free soda actually end up gaining weight. 

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