Do soda drinks cause cellulite?
Phosphates in cola drinks
Phosphoric acid, or phosphate, is not an organic acid that boosts acidity in the body. Excessive acidity lowers the detoxification ability of the liver and makes the body to eliminate calcium from the bones and teeth in an attempt to re-alkalinise the body (calcium is alkaline and neutralises acids such as phosphoric acid). Phosphates are contained in cola drinks.
Caffeine - moderation is key
Caffeine, is a well known diuretic and stimulant. Because of its diuretic action caffeine may lower water retention in the first place, an essential part of cellulite. Nevertheless, ongoing and excessive use may lead to caffeine tolerance on the kidneys and following chronic water retention.
Nervous stimulation from caffeine may temporarily boost energy levels and therefore energy consumption and fat burning, but the effect is short-lived and the subsequent fatigue will result in lowered energy consumption and, more importantly, to cravings for sugar, the number one cause of cellulite nowadays.
Not large amount of caffeine (1-3 caffeine drinks a day) will not lead to any harm or boost cellulite, while excessive consumption (10 caffeine drinks a day are not unusual for some people) will for sure lead to different health disturbances, as well as cellulite.
Caffeine is typically contained in cola drinks and energy drinks.
Sugar: the white poison in soft drinks
As we discussed above, sugar is the number one cause of cellulite. Sugar consumption has risen tremendously in the last few years, partly because of an emphasis on low fat diets and the subsequent availability of foods low in fat and high in sugar, and partly due to boosted stress caused by more and more sedentary, desk-bound occupations.
Sugar is the number one enemy of your legs: it is converted into fat unless it is used momentarily, it leads to skin ageing and skin damage because of the process of glycation and it enhances levels of inflammation in the body (inflammation consequently results in increased blood viscosity and poor circulation, as well as adipose tissue fibrosis, part of cellulite). Sugar in pastries may be bad enough, but sugar diluted in water is really fattening, due to the very fast absorption of the mixture and very high glycaemic index.
The above do not apply to sucrose only (what we call commonly call sugar) but also to all other isolated sugars, including fructose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose, maltose etc. There is a large difference between natural sugars contained in a whole apple, and isolated, refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup contained in a fizzy drink. The former is a good influence on your system, while the latter is damaging your health and your figure. Sugar is present in all fizzy drinks except sparkling water and soda water.
Sweeteners: sucralose, aspartame, stevia and cellulite
Artificial (sucralose, aspartame) and natural (stevia) sweeteners not always contain calories but they still stimulate insulin secretion and eventually contribute to boosted calorie intake. You may initially be led to believe that you had got your sugar fix, but when no sugar reaches your bloodstream you react by feeling hungrier and by consuming more calories by the end of the day.
In general, anything sweet is to be avoided and only used as a treat - like the old days - not as a self medication for stress, depression and boredom. Sweets make you temporarily feel better only to make you feel worse soon after - leaving you with a few extra grams of cellulite in the process.
Carbonation: fizzy drinks and sparkling water
Carbonate is a very weak acid that becomes carbon dioxide when not under pressure, i.e. as soon as you open the bottle or the can. Carbonate does not boost acidity in the body as it gets broken down in the stomach or just evaporates. The same cannot be said for phosphate or orthophosphate found in cola drinks which do leave an acid residue when absorbed by the body. Carbon dioxide is simply eliminated though the breath.
Carbonate is the only innocent ingredient in fizzy drinks. Since carbonate is the substance that gives the fizzy drinks their fizz, it is contained in all fizzy drinks. Sparkling water which only contains water and carbonate is absolutely innocent and you can drink as much as you want of it, without any problems (except from stomach swelling, if you drink too much, of course)!
Cola is innocent
Cola extract is obviously included in cola drinks. Although cola is a source of caffeine, it contributes very little caffeine to cola drinks, with most of the caffeine being added to them. Cola extract is completely alright and it is from time to time used in health supplements, although I would stop short of calling Coca Cola a herbal drink, as they attempted to call it a few years ago…
Preservatives and "dead drinks"
Various fizzy drinks contain various kinds of preservatives. Most preservatives used today have been tried and tested for decades, and are not as bad as we think. Nevertheless, the issue with food and drinks containing preservatives is not so much the preservatives per se, the issue is that the food and drinks are not fresh, pretty often being stored in cans, jars and bottles for months, absorbing chemicals from the plastic container or plastic lining of aluminium cans.
Eating dead food, or dead drinks for that matter, surely cannot be good for you. There is a large difference between freshly squeezed orange juice and a fizzy orangeade kind of drink, even if the drink contains no preservatives or other artificial ingredients. Preservatives are contained in almost all fizzy drinks.