YMCA of Greater Louisville

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

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…Especially if it’s a beautiful woman with legs as long as the Mississippi River, or a tall, dark, handsome gentleman. I’m thinking Ryan Gosling, y’all. Breaking up means change, and who really likes change? We’re humans and we thrive off repetition, a schedule, a plan. Okay, maybe I’m just talking about myself here, but think of all the things we plan in our lives; our weekends, our meals, our work day, meetings, parties, etc.

One of the hardest breakups is saying goodbye to soda. I imagine the scenario going something like this: “It’s not you, it’s me. Your ingredients are breaking down my bones, your coloring is artificial, and if you were all natural you’d be as green as Shrek. I’m not Princess Fiona here. I need something REAL. I’m not (artificially) sugar coating it (pun intended), it just isn’t working anymore.”

Switching to real life mode, you can’t call that an illegitimate breakup, folks. The United States ranks first among countries in soft drink consumption. The average per-person consumption of soft drinks is in excess of 270 quarts per year, or about 5 quarts per week (2 cans of soda per day!). Soft drinks have long been known to decrease calcium levels and increase phosphate levels in the blood. When phosphate levels are high and calcium levels are low is when calcium is pulled out of the bones, and over time, contribute to brittle or weak bones which are easily broken. This is what we call osteoporosis.

According to the Nutrition Research Center, the following is what happens to your body within one hour of drinking a can of regular soda:

10 minutes in: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system, which is 100% of your recommended daily intake (this is ONE can of soda, people… one can). You’d normally vomit from such high sugar intake, but the phosphoric acid cuts the flavor.


20 minutes in: blood sugar skyrockets. Your pancreas attempts to maximize insulin production in order to turn high levels of sugar into fat.

40 minutes in: as your body finishes absorbing the caffeine, your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your liver pumps more sugar into the bloodstream. Adenosine receptors in your brain are blocked by preventing you from feeling how tired you may actually be (hence the so-called “energy boost” you think you get from the soda you’re drinking).

45 minutes in: your body increases dopamine production, causing you to feel pleasure and adding to the addictiveness of the beverage. This physical neuro response works the exact same way it would if you were consuming heroin.

<60 minutes in: the phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium, and zinc in your lower intestine, which boosts your metabolism a bit further. High doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners compound this effect, increasing the urinary excretion of calcium. The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play (which is what causes the “I HAVE to go to the bathroom NOW!” feeling).

>60 minutes in: the sugar crash begins. This is where you begin to get irritable and feel sluggish.

Another soda, anyone?


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