We’ve got another reason to recommend (no, beg) that you cut back on your sugar intake — specifically, in liquid form. An October 2014 study from UC San Francisco found that drinking sugary soda can actually age your body faster on a cellular level. We already know sugar-laden soda is not a healthy choice. The researchers calculated that the telomere-shortening effect of consuming a 20-ounce soft drink daily is comparable to the effect smoking has on the cells. But if those facts aren’t enough to get you ditching your cola for a healthier option, maybe seeing how microscopically a seven-day feast with a 32-ouncer a day can do damage similar to a pack of Marlboros will motivate you to make healthier choices. If your health and beauty are important to you (which we surely hope they are), you have a pretty good idea of what to stay away from. Cigarettes. Trans fats. UV radiation. All these big no-nos hurt your body, mess with you inside and out, and accelerate aging. It’s time to add soda to that list. We promise you’ll be happy you did.
READ MORE: Why is Diet Soda Bad for You?