Much ado is made about the disadvantages of soft drinks -- namely, their high sugar content. However, soft drinks do carry certain advantages, from convenient energy boosts to, possibly, protection against disease.
If you need a quick pick-me-up, caffeinated soda makes a convenient option. Aside from providing an energy boost, caffeine may offer some health benefits. For example, a 2006 study published in the "Journal of Neurological Sciences" found that caffeine may protect against Parkinson's disease. According to Medical News Today, it could also protect against stroke and Type 2 diabetes.
Soda is often derided for containing high fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to increased triglyceride levels and inflammation, according to Harvard Health Publications. Fortunately, many soft drinks makers are taking a healthier turn and using other types of sweeteners, such as stevia -- which is natural and calorie-free -- instead of high fructose corn syrup.
- Rodale News: 9 Healthy Sodas
- Harvard Health Publications: Ask the Doctor: Are Artificial Sweeteners a Good Alternative to Sugar?
- Journal of Neurological Sciences: Novel Neuroprotection by Caffeine and Adenosine A(2A) Receptor Antagonists in Animal Models of Parkinson's Disease
- Men's Health: The Caffeine Advantage
- Journal of Alzheimer's Disease: Effects of Caffeine in Parkinson's Disease: From Neuroprotection to the Management of Motor and Non-Motor Symptoms
- Medical News Today: Caffeine: How Does It Really Affect Our Health?