We’ve all heard soda lambasted as one of the top public health enemies. It’s been frequently linked to several health conditions and has been cited as an instigating factor in Type II Diabetes.However, there is evidence to suggest that soda might have some more subtle adverse effects on the body. Recent research suggests that soda can harm skin health and longevity.
What does soda do to your skin?
The main problem with soda has to do with its high sugar content. The average 12 oz. can of soda boasts 39 grams of sugar -that’s a whopping 9 tablespoons of sugar.The American Heart Association recommends men consume no more than 37.5 grams of sugar each day, and women consume only 25 grams.
Dermatologists cite sugar as a major factor in skin ageing. The resulting insulin spike and inflammatory response following the consumption of a significant quantity of sugar take a toll on the skin, often leaving your complexion looking dull and emphasising the appearance of wrinkles.
Caffeine and AGEs compound the sugar situation. Caffeine dehydrates the skin while also making it harder for some to get their beauty sleep. AGEs, or advanced glycation end products, are frequently found in many dark types of cola. These AGEs react with lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins in almost all skin cells and potentially contribute to or accelerate the ageing process.
Why is soda harmful to your complexion?
If you’re a soda drinker, you may be just as prone to excessive inflammation as a regular smoker.
While some inflammation in the body is natural and necessary, the sugar found in soda can exacerbate that inflammation process. This can intensify any pre-existing skin irritation, thereby worsening acne and eczema. It can even lead to cystic acne in pre-existing acne cases.
The sugar in soda can enlarge pores and increase oil production, which leads to a shiny, porous complexion and also result in acne, particularly blackheads, and whiteheads.
As a result, soda is one of the worst things for your skin. It can intensify any issues you already face, in addition to putting excessive wear and tear on your skin.
How sugar, soda, and your skin all related?
Soda also contains high amounts of high fructose corn syrup which is associated with higher numbers of AGEs.
The high numbers of AGEs products can damage skin’s elastin.
Caffeine and its effects on the skin
Caffeine generally decreases your time sleeping and resting. It inhibits the body’s ability to slow down, relax, in order to recover. It’s an artificial stimulant. The first and most obvious effect of caffeine is in a lack of sleep. We need our beauty sleep in order to regenerate our skin’s vitality, and a lack of it contributes heavily to premature ageing.
However, this artificial stimulant also has more subtle effects. On its own, it elevates cortisol, or the stress hormone, in the bloodstream. When combined with other forms of physical or mental stress–such as those encountered at school or work–cortisol levels are drastically increased.
These elevated cortisol levels can cause your skin to secrete more oil, leading to more acne, and it can also disrupt your digestive system and lead to dehydration. Both of these effects can, in turn, lead to more skin problems and breakouts, exacerbating any pre-existing skin conditions.
How does soda intake lead to acne?
Each individual and individual body are different. The intersections of genetics, lifestyle, diet, activity level, and environment all have their roles to play in skin health and longevity. To say that “soda intake leads to acne along paths x, y, and z” is therefore misleading. However, there are a number of ways in which soda can worsen pre-existing skin conditions.
As with any dietary information, the amount of food consumed has to be taken into question. If you’re consuming the occasional soda, it probably won’t have a significant effect on your health, especially if you are otherwise healthy.
However, there are several ways in which soda can contribute to acne, especially when consumed in larger quantities:
- Dehydration caused by caffeine
- Elevated stress and oil secretion caused by caffeine-induced cortisol spikes
- Digestive problems caused by caffeine
- AGEs’ effects on skin elasticity
- Inflammation caused by sugar intake
Thus, while soda doesn’t directly cause acne, it can worsen it. If you are concerned that your acne is worsening, consider skin rejuvenation near Stevenage.
How to protect your skin from ageing
Here are some ways you can protect your skin from ageing:
- Avoid excessive soda intake
- If you love the taste of soda, enjoy it in moderation. Try focusing more on freshly squeezed fruit juices. If you love fizzy drinks, mix fresh juice with seltzer water. Try herbal teas, many of which are known for their anti-inflammatory effects.
- Get lots of sleep
- Getting high-quality sleep is essential for skin health and longevity. Aim for 7-8 hours a night.
- Avoid yo-yo dieting
- Get help for eating disorders. Even if you don’t feel you have an eating disorder but struggle in your relationship with food, consider reaching out for help. Our culture celebrates an unrealistic “thin ideal,” which often promotes restrictive behaviours rather than a natural, intuitive relationship with hunger and satiety cues.
- Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Avoid tanning, either indoors or outdoors
- Wear SPF on your face every day to prevent premature ageing due to sun exposure.
- Wear sunglasses to protect the delicate skin around your eyes when out in the sun.
- Don’t smoke
- It’s been proven that smoking is bad for nearly every organ of your body. Avoid it.
- Avoid excessive alcohol intake
- A glass of wine a few evenings a week might be beneficial for your health but drinking to excess puts a strain on your body, your skin included.
Because you have a few breakouts now and again doesn’t mean your diet is in dire shape: a lot of skin’s appearance is the result of genetics. However, excessive soda intake can induce a number of adverse effects.
This doesn’t mean you should never enjoy a sip of Coca-Cola; instead, it’s a call for moderation and for finding healthier alternatives. Remember, it’s about how you feel in your body and how much energy and vitality you feel on a day-to-day basis.