Soda is a popular drink, but its appeal usually comes from the high amount of sugar it contains. Although sugar is known to be detrimental to diets and blood sugar, it has also been linked to an increased risk of dementia (via Health Line). In addition, Alzheimer’s and dementia published a study that found those who regularly drank a sugary drink had lower brain volume and were at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. As with natural aging, in Alzheimer’s disease the brain shrinks. Therefore, signs of Alzheimer’s disease and shrinking brain size directly indicate brain aging (via National Institute of Aging).
Diet soda may seem like a better option because it has less sugar than regular soda. However, while less sugar is a benefit, the other ingredients in diet sodas can have their own health consequences (via Medical News Today). A 2017 study published in Stroke found that daily consumption of diet soda led to a greatly increased risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, according to Mayo Clinic.
Alcohol causes dehydration and inflammation, can affect the circulatory system, and can impact blood sugar levels. Despite these known effects, some say alcohol can be beneficial in moderation (via Health line). Unfortunately, a study published in Nature found that alcohol consumption, even in moderate amounts, appears to decrease brain matter. This decrease is similar to the shrinkage of the brain due to aging, and the affected areas affect memory and cognitive functions.