Sunday, December 28, 2014

History of Soda

A little history about soft drinks which I learned in Nutrition class this week.  Once again, something that started out fairly healthy and turned into pretty much poison for profits......

During the 1800s, local pharmacies started to experiment with medicinal herbs and essential oils to improve the flavor of mineral waters, to replicate them, and to create novel beverages. As the birthplace of soda was the local pharmacy, it is not surprising that many of the drinks still in existence today were developed by pharmacists and doctors, including Coca-Cola (invented by John S. Pemberton), Pepsi (originally introduced by Caleb D. Bradham asBrad’s Drink), and Dr. Pepper (created by Charles Alderton).

As the industrial revolution improved the production ability of bottle and cap makers to maintain carbonation, the ability to transport these beverages made it possible to turn pharmacy fountain drinks into soda drinks sold around the world. The original formulas have also been modified to reduce the cost of manufacturing, to extend shelf-life, and to meet new regulations.

However, nowadays, sodas have little in common with the original creations. For example, herbal extracts, such as coca leaf extract, are rarely used. Sugar has largely been replaced with less expensive high fructose corn syrup or, in the case of low-calorie soft drinks, with the artificial sweetener aspartame. Phosphoric acid is added for an “extra bite,” while caffeine is included as a stimulant. A number of preservatives, such as sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate, are used to inhibit bacteria, molds, and yeasts. In colas, the characteristic dark color comes from caramel coloring (burnt sugar). Red 40 and other artificial colorants are used in fruit-flavored drinks. Specific fruit flavor is achieved by adding flavoring agents, such as citric acid in citrus-flavored drinks. Also, do not forget about surfactants and emulsifiers, such as glyceryl abietate (glycerol ester of wood rosin) and brominated vegetable oil, necessary to improve solubility of the components. Thus, modern soft drinks contain numerous ingredients that are far from being “natural.”

When talking about sweetened beverages today, one must add fruit, sports, and energy drinks to the ever-present soda consumption. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that half of all Americans consume at least one sweetened beverage per day, which has been shown to increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, gout, and decreased diet quality. Socioeconomic factors also play a role in consumption, as it has been shown that lower income status is correlated with an increased percentage of diet consumed as sweetened beverages.

Here is a chart on some of the ways drinking Soda affects your health....

So next time you reach for a soda, think about the harm it is doing your body.  There are alternate forms of beverages that are better for your health.

Remember, You ARE what you EAT & DRINK....   Beci

Reference:  American College of Health Care Sciences, Nutrition 101, Module 15