Sure, that Coca Cola may look delicious in all its fizzy glory, but did you know that the effects of drinking it could be as detrimental as cigarettes?

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health showed that adults with a soda-drinking habit were prone to age-accelerated immune cells. That’s right. Their immune systems were actually older and weaker. Two to five years older to be exact.

Researcher’s found that telomeres are to blame. But what the heck are telomeres? These are the caps made up of white blood cells at the ends of your chromosomes. They keep your chromosomes from fraying, allow for cell division, protect your genetic data and in short, keep you young and healthy. Think of them like the plastic caps on the ends of shoelaces that no one knows the name for. The shorter the telomere, the harder it is for a cell to divide, linking to aging and diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Telomeres shorten naturally as you age, but this study showed that drinking soda accelerates the process and shortens your lifespan. Yikes.

The study followed 5309 adults between the ages of 20 and 65. Participants who reported drinking just eight ounces of soda per day were shown to have shorter telomeres and immune systems aged almost two years. A soda intake of 20 ounces per day resulted in a five-year age acceleration. Researchers noted that the same effect was found in smokers.

Surprisingly, diet soda (although rumored to be equally as dangerous) has no notable effect on telomere length, and drinking high levels of 100% fruit juice (not Sunny-D, sorry) is linked to longer telomeres. Research also shows that telomeres can be lengthened nearly 10% with a healthy diet and a low-stress lifestyle. I guess Dr. Pepper doesn’t deserve that PhD after all.

Still not convinced? This terrifying video shows just how much sugar you consume with one bottle of soda.

Not scared yet? Read up: