There are no warning labels on soft drink cans. However, considering the ingredients some of them include, maybe there should be.

Depending on where you are from, you might know this beverage as either pop or soda. Whatever you call carbonated soft drinks, you know they are a refreshing beverage that you might enjoy sipping for a little boost of caffeine in the middle of the workday or a maybe as a summer afternoon cool-down.

Next time you sit down to enjoy one of these drinks, take a second to look at the label before taking the first sip.  There are a few ingredients in these drinks that might surprise you and could even make you rethink your soft drink intake.

SODA: Artificial Coloring

In many darker colored sodas such as colas and root beer, there are a few unnatural ingredients that give the drinks their signature color. Studies have shown that two ingredients specifically, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, have been found to cause cancer in lab rats. These ingredients are banned in several other countries but because they are cheap alternatives to natural coloring, soft drink companies continue to add them to their products, giving the cola we drink its caramel-like color.

SODA: Sugar and Sugar Substitutes


The soft drink industry is the largest user of refined sugar in the US. Refined sugar can cause weight gain around the liver and skeletal muscles, which could lead to diabetes, and causes a significant increase in cholesterol. If you choose to drink diet soft drinks, they usually include a sugar substitute chemical called aspartame, which is a known carcinogen.

In a ten-year study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center, those participants who chose to drink diet soda had an average 70 percent increase in waist circumference. Those who drank two diet sodas per day saw an average 500 percent increase around their midsection!

SODA: Brominated Vegetable Oil

Even more unnatural than sugar substitutes are the strange ingredients that get included in some citrus-based soft drinks. Some of these soft drinks include an ingredient called brominated vegetable oil, more commonly known as BVO, which is used to prevent the flavor additives in citrus soda from separating from the carbonated liquid base. This chemical has another use: as a flame-retardant that gets mixed into different types plastics!
Genetically modified corn, more commonly known as GMO corn, is an integral part of many artificially created food and drink products. Why? It is cheap and easy to produce which is why around 80 percent of all corn grown in the US is genetically modified. Several studies have linked GMO corn to cancerous tumors in lab tests but as of now, there are no conclusive human studies that have been conducted to observe long-term effects of this food.

Long story short, you may want to check out the ingredients that make up whatever food product you are choose to put into your body. Soft drinks are delicious, but like many things, when consumed in excess they may be harmful to your health.