Some ‘pop’ular soft drink misconceptions
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 15:09
Whether you refer to your carbonated drinks as pop, soda or coke, your assumptions about the beverage are most likely similar to those in other parts of the country. “It’s cheap!” “It’s not that bad for you, especially diet!” or, “It’s a great thirst-quencher!” Oftentimes we tell ourselves these things to ease our conscious about sipping soft drinks, but in reality, we may just be hindering our health by buying into these myths.
Myth No. 1: “Pop” is a universal term referring to a sweetened carbonated beverage
Because of Fargo’s Midwest location, “pop” is the term most frequently used to refer to almost any carbonated beverage. However, in other parts of the United States, the words “soda” or “coke” are more common. I learned about these separate regions from a colorfully detailed map on mymaps.com. The term “soda” is used in the southern tip of Florida, the area surrounding St. Louis, and predominantly in Arizona and California, along with the extreme upper east coast states. Stretching across the Deep South, all the way from New Mexico to South Carolina, the term “coke” is used most frequently. And lastly, dominating the majority of the country, taking over the Great Plains, Northwest and Midwest, “pop” is the popular term.
Myth No. 2: Drink pop to quench your thirst
Caffeine is diuretic, which means that your body’s urine output is increased. This causes your body to lose fluids more quickly than usual, making you feel thirstier. Although it may initially seem like drinking pop is helping to hydrate you because it dampens your mouth and sends liquid to your stomach, its caffeine will quickly rush through your system and be excreted rather than replenishing your body’s needed fluids. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommend drinking water, which has no caffeine or sugars, in order to rehydrate.
Myth No. 3: Diet pop is healthier than regular pop
It depends; if you are looking to consume fewer calories, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that a can of diet pop contains zero calories as compared to about 136 in regular versions. Somehow diet pop has to compensate for lost flavor, however, this is where artificial sweeteners come into play. The owner of San Francisco’s Essential Nutrition for You, Rania Batayneh, warns that these sweeteners in diet pop may cause a decrease in metabolism and greater cravings for foods high in calories. A slow metabolism can cause weight gain, as well as can a higher intake of high-calorie foods eaten to satisfy increased cravings. If pop is part of your daily diet, Batayneh suggests that “drinking a regular pop or two instead of drinking five or six diet pops” is more likely to benefit your health in the long run.