Everyone knows by now that soda’s one of the worst beverages you can possibly drink. Not only is it loaded with sugar, it also contains dangerous preservatives, making it pretty toxic to your body.

And if you thought diet soda was okay to drink, think again! It’s actually worse for you than regular soda. If you’re serious about staying healthy and trim, then you really need to stay away from cola. Here are six ways soda trashes you.

1. Soda makes you gain weight

"High in calories, soda has no nutritional value whatsoever," FitDay reports. One 12 ounce can of regular soda has some 150 calories and 33 grams of sugar! Diet soda isn't much better. Numerous studies have found that even diet soda can make you pack on pounds. One theory is that diet soda triggers sweet receptors on your tongue but not insulin, so you never end up feeling full. In fact, diet soda causes you to crave carb-heavy and processed foods.

2. Soda leeches calcium from your bones

Regular and diet soda contain high amounts of phosphorous. And diets high in phosphoric acid are associated with lower bone density, hip fractures, and osteoporosis. Plus, the additional caffeine also causes reduced calcium absorption. "In studies, soda drinkers of all ages have been shown to have higher rates of broken bones and fractures than their non-soda-drinking peers," the New York Times reports. So, if you drink a few cans of soda a day, you’re really setting yourself up for trouble down the road.

3. Soda contains caramel color, which can cause cancer

"The brown coloring in your soda may be linked to increased cancer risk," The PBS NewsHour reports. Coca Cola and Pepsi color their colas with 4-methylimidazole (4-MI), a chemical that has been linked to cancer in mice and rats. Your body has a hard time ridding itself of 4MI; it's stored in fat cells.

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4. Soda screws up your skin

"While there is no direct link between soda consumption and the development of acne," LiveStrong notes, "substances in soda could create issues in the body that cause acne as a side effect." Regular and diet soda lower your skin’s pH levels, and this can promote pimples. Soda also contains a large amount of high-fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to tissue damage, free radicals, and diabetes.

5. Soda destroys your teeth

Numerous studies have found that long time exposure to soda can corrode significant amounts of enamel. If that’s not terrifying enough, soda destroys 10 times more dental material than fruit juices in just the first three minutes of drinking it. Soda is so damaging to your teeth that a tooth soaking in soda will completely dissolve. Skip soda if you want to save your pearly whites.

6. Soda damages your health generally

Soda has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, kidney stones, and heartburn. If you’re looking to feel and look terrible, then by all means, drink up! But if you actually care about your body in any way, make sure to ditch the soda altogether!

Soda-free living now

If you want to look young, healthy, and fit, then you should definitely stop drinking soda.

Though giving up soda may seem difficult at first, it becomes easier with time. And if you’re looking for a similar, but healthy, beverage, consider drinking sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice.

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