30 Facts About Soda That You'll Find Totally Disturbing

Whether you’re a former soda addict or not, you’re probably already aware of its bad effects on your health. Loaded with added sugars, caramel coloring, and other additives, there’s a lot more to the syrupy-sweet soft drink than what’s listed on their nutrition and ingredients labels. So what exactly are you drinking? We list the top 30 most disturbing facts about soda. Then, check out The Best & Worst Sodas in America—Ranked!

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4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) is formed when making the artificial caramel coloring found in many sodas. A 2014 study from Consumer Reports and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future discovered that 4-MEI can be found in varying levels in a sampling of 110 soft drink samples and diet colas. Ingesting this toxic chemical could increase your risk of developing cancer, said the research team, although the Food and Drug Administration says it’s not dangerous to consume food or beverages with 4-MEI in them, as you would have to drink more than 1,000 cans of soda each day to experience any of the health concerns from 4-MEI. Still, knowing you’re ingesting this stuff willingly is enough to tell you to put the can of soda down.

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If you’re planning on having kids anytime soon, it would be prudent to put down the soda for a while, says a 2018 study published in the journal Epidemiology. Researchers surveyed nearly 5,000 couples and found that just drinking one or more sugar-sweetened drinks (like soda) every day, by either the man or the woman, led to a lower chance of getting pregnant.

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Avoiding a stroke is a goal most of us can get behind to quit soda for good. A study published in the journal Stroke—which studied 2,888 people over a 10-year-span

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