Most of the popular soda drinks today originated and flourished in pharmacies during the late 19th and 20th centuries. Early sodas were marketed as cure-alls for impotence, stomach pain, scurvy, alcoholism, opium addictions, nervousness, and more.
Today, Americans drink roughly 50 gallons of soda per person, per year.
Dr Pepper is not classified as a cola but rather a “distinctly flavored drink.” This allows it to be sold in both Pepsi and Coke soda fountains and vending machines. The period in Dr Pepper was dropped in the 1950s to avoid any suggestion of a medical link.
Coca-Cola is the most widely distributed product on the planet. If every drop of Coke ever made were placed in 8-ounce bottles and laid end to end, the bottles would reach the moon and back over 2,000 times.
In 1898, Pepsi-Cola began as a carbonated soft drink first called “Brad’s Drink,” after its creator, pharmacist Caleb Bradham of North Carolina.
Many sodas have phosphoric acid, which has been associated with an increased risk for osteoporosis, bone loss, and tooth decay.
Pepsi was renamed Pepsi-Cola in 1898 because it contained pepsin and kola nuts.
Americans consume over 1.7 million tons of sugar each year from Coca-Cola alone. This is equivalent to 10.8 pounds of sugar per person, per year. Soda is the largest source of added sugar in American diets.
Some other uses for soda other than drinking include removing stains from a toilet bowl, loosening rusted bolts, removing rust spots from car bumpers, removing grease from clothes, and removing bloodstains on the highway after an accident.
A 2010 study found that people who drank both diet and regular soda gained more fat around their waist than people who did not drink any soda.
Sodas in the early 19th century were flavored with such ingredients as dandelions, ginger, lemon, birch bark, coca, and kola. The last two combined later would become Coca-Cola.
The term “soda” is from the word “sodium,” which was a common mineral in natural springs water. The word “pop” was first used in 1812 and referred to the sound of a carbonated beverage opening.
Ginger ale has been called the “first soft drink” because for centuries, ginger was used in medicinal drinks.
People who worked at soda fountains were called soda jerks―because of the classic jerking motion used to pump soda water.
After the invention of the crown cork or crown cap in 1891 by William Painter in the U.S., sodas could be sold anywhere, not just in pharmacies or soda shops.
Warm Dr Pepper was popular in the southern United States during the 1960s. This warm, syrupy drink was thought to help with colds and other ailments. It was also a popular drink at Christmas parties.
Several companies claim to be the oldest soft drink brand in America, including Moxie, Dr Pepper, Vernors Ginger Soda, and Hire’s Root Beer, all of which emerged in the late 19th century. However, the first artificially carbonated drink was created in 1767 by Swedish chemist Joseph Priestley.
German-Swiss jeweler Jacob Schweppe is considered the “father of soda.” In the late 18th century, he developed the first practical process to manufacture carbonated mineral water based on the earlier findings of Joseph Priestley.
Adults in a family of four earning $29,000 per year received 8.8% of their daily calories from soda and sugary drinks, compared with 4.4% for those who earned about $77,000.
The invention of the automatic glass blowing machine in 1899 drove down the price of soda and dramatically increased the popularity of the bottled carbonated drink.
In parts of the U.S. and Canada, soda is variously referred to as “pop,” “soda,” or generically as “coke.” Across the Atlantic, the English call them “fizzy drinks,” and the Irish call them “minerals.”
Glass bottles are better at holding soda than plastic, as the carbon can escape through the plastic. Carbonated beverages stored in plastic have a much shorter shelf life that soda stored in a glass.
Drinking one soda a day can age you by as many as 4.6 additional years.
Fanta was created in Germany during WW II when trade embargos against the Nazis forced Germany bottling plants to create their own soda formulas.
Pepsi’s popular slogan “Come alive with Pepsi” was translated into Chinese as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.”
Soft drinks are called “soft” in contrast to “hard drinks,” which are alcoholic drinks.
7-Up was originally called “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda.” Up until the 1950s, it contained lithium citrate, which is a mood-stabilizing drug.
Mountain Dew is slang for “moonshine” because it was originally a mixer for bourbon.
In 2013, the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that 25,000 obesity-related American deaths from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer are linked to soda.
The soda that has the most caffeine is Pepsi Max at 69 mg/12 oz. Mountain Zevia comes in second at 55 mg/12oz., and Mountain Dew (regular or diet) comes in third at 54 mg/12oz. The FDA’s official limit for cola and pepper soft drinks is 71 mg per 12 oz. serving.
The Academy of General Dentistry has stated that the levels of acid found in sodas are comparable to that of a battery. High acidic content in soda coupled with high sugar content causes tooth enamel erosion, even with minimal exposure.
Studies show that men prefer sodas that do not use the word “diet” and soda cans that have darker colors, such as black or red.
It would take 50 minutes of running or 5 miles of walking to burn the calories in a 20-ounce bottle of soda.
Different soda flavors around the world include Salty Watermelon (Japan), Curry Soda (Japan), Cucumber Soda (Japan), Black Garlic (Switzerland), Onion (South Korea), Black Current (Egypt and Kenya), Grass Jelly (Malaysia), and White Fungus Bird’s Nest (Vietnam).
African-American children receive about 8.5% of their total daily calories from soda and other sugary drinks, compared to 8.2% for Mexican-Americans, and 7.7% for white children.
Researchers note that advertisers of soda and of other types of junk food actively target minority and lower-income children, who see twice as many soda/junk food commercials as white children.
Coca-Cola uses over 300,000 tons of aluminum for its cans every year—just in the United States. This is 17.4% of the entire U.S. aluminum production.
One study found that 48% of sodas tested from fast food fountains contain coliform bacteria, which is associated with fecal matter and is resistant to 11 types of antibiotics.