11 Surprising Facts About Soda That'll Make You Think Differently About It

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Vote up the soft-drink facts that most surprise you.

Whether you consume it daily or only at the movies, soda remains a part of the dietary habits of millions of people around the world. Strange facts about soft drinks range from ties to historical events to eye-opening data about the health implications of soda consumption. Plenty of weird facts about age-old popular sodas may even put you at odds with your favorite beverage, while others may make you stock up on a few packs.

Soft drinks have been available since the 18th century when scientists found a way to create the fizziness that naturally occurs in carbonated mineral waters. Before long, the market bubbled over with carbonated beverages, leading to the vast array of brands available today. 

  • 7-Up Once Contained Lithium
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    152 VOTES

    7-Up Once Contained Lithium

    Lithium, typically prescribed to individuals who have bipolar disorder, served as one of 7-Up's critical ingredients for nearly two decades. Lithium was such a prominent part of 7-Up that the beverage used to be called Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda? Coincidentally, this drink hit the market less than a month before the onset of the Great Depression. 

    Manufacturers removed lithium after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlawed its use in drinks in 1948. However, some still believe the "Up" in the name refers to the effects of lithium. The drink's creator, Charles L. Griggs, passed without confirming or denying the rumor.

  • Drinking Just One Soda Daily Can Age You By Nearly Five Years
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    148 VOTES

    Drinking Just One Soda Daily Can Age You By Nearly Five Years

    According to a 2014 study published by the American Journal of Public Health, daily soda drinkers age faster than non-drinkers. Researchers from the University of California San Francisco analyzed nutritional data from more than 5,000 subjects and found the chromosomes of people who drank soda daily degraded faster than those who did not. 

    Subjects who consumed 8 oz of soda daily (about 2/3 of a can) exhibited signs of 1.9 more years of aging; people who drank 20 oz a day (the amount most commonly found in American vending machines) showed an additional 4.6 years of aging. The second figure lines up with the chromosome degradation rate caused by regular smoking. 

  • Kosher Coke Exists For Passover
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    123 VOTES

    Kosher Coke Exists For Passover

    Coca-Cola produces a kosher version of its soda for Passover. In the 1930s, Rabbi Tobias Geffen grew concerned the cola might contain non-kosher ingredients. He approached the company to determine if the beverage's contents met kosher law. Geffen discovered the diffuser glycerin came from non-kosher animals and pressured Procter and Gamble (the company's glycerin provider) into using cottonseed oil. This step marked the first move towards kosher Coke.

    Today, Coke, like most soft drinks, is sweetened with corn syrup, and corn products are prohibited during Passover. Therefore, Coca-Cola flavors Passover cola with real sugar and a rabbi observes the production process from start to finish to ensure authenticity. 

  • Dr Pepper Was The First Energy Drink
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    94 VOTES

    Dr Pepper Was The First Energy Drink

    Dr Pepper was initially marketed as a pick-me-up or "brain tonic," making it one of the world's first energy drinks. The bottom of every can of Dr Pepper featured a stamp with the numbers "10-2-4." 

    The numbers were a reference to times of the day when most people experience the lowest energy: 10:30 am, 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm. Consumption of a Dr Pepper 30 minutes before the slump could help to avoid it.