“There is nothing better than a Coke with lemon and lots of ice on a hot day,” announced one of my closest friends. I try not to impose my opinion on others, but soda is a hot button topic I simply cannot resist.

On average, Americans guzzle 50 gallons of soda per person every year. That is 39 pounds of sugar a year. Think about it- 39 pounds is a lot. That’s about as much as two car tires, a small child, or more than 5,600 copper pennies. Waistline aside, soda is bad for your complexion, your heart, your bones and your teeth (it dissolves your tooth enamel!).

And on a hot day, Coke, Pepsi or any of their canned cousins can actually make cooling off harder. This study highlights how drinking soft drinks to rehydrate actually worsens dehydration and can lead to kidney injury, especially among adolescents and young adults.

On the next sweltering day, reach for some water post-tennis match or when lounging by the water to cool off.