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Why Swimmer's Should Avoid Soda

There are many reasons why we might find ourselves wanting to have some soda over the course of the day. Whether we are simply looking for something sweet, or a little pick me up from the sugar and caffeine when we are lagging behind, however when it comes to our health and athletic performance, you might want to avoid having soft drinks. Soda has several aspects to it that each bring about a different reaction in the body. So even when talking about diet or sugar-free soft drinks, there are still multiple other factors to consider.


  • The main source of contention with soda tends to be its sugar content. The average can of soda contains about 10 teaspoons (42 grams) of sugar. In a 2,000 calorie diet, this is almost the entirety of the recommended daily sugar intake.

  • Soda contains almost no nutritional benefit, and instead only provides empty calories which are quickly used up. Due to the nature of the simple sugars present in soda, it can provide an initial rush of energy. Although this rush quickly fades away, replaced by a sudden drop in blood sugar, which can make athletes feel weak and tired.

  • Additionally, soda tends to not possess any electrolytes. Instead only boasting its high sugar content. When we sweat, which we do even when swimming, we lose electrolytes and sodium which when not replenished can result in muscle cramps or spasms, and even dizziness and nausea.

  • Many sodas also contain phosphoric acid and other acidic compounds. Which in addition to being bad for your teeth, may also contribute to the feeling of lactic acid build up in your system after strenuous activity and as a result, further discomfort.

  • Carbonation, which is heavily present in soda can often cause bloating, as well as an upset stomach. As such, it is recommended not to have carbonated drinks prior to any athletic performance.

  • Caffeine is also present in many kinds of soda, and while it may help you feel more alert, it also has diuretic properties. Meaning that it increases the production of urine. As a result, the soda you are drinking may even be dehydrating you, preventing any positive outcome from its consumption.

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