You’ve heard it before. That little voice inside your head that nags you to give up soda. You know it’s bad for you, yet you can’t seem to stop. You fool yourself thinking diet soda is better or that just one a day is really ok. So let me share a few scary facts with you. Once you realize how seriously dangerous this stuff is and what it is doing to your health, it might be easier. It’s time to quit soda.
15 Reasons to Give Up Soda
Many people are addicted to soda, so let these facts sink in as reasons to quit soda:
- The Sugar – A single can of Coca-Cola has almost 10 teaspoons of added sugar. Think of a stack of 10 sugar cubes or 10 packets of sugar. Just one can. And something super-sized? Do the math.
- Artificial Sweeteners – Diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners which confuse our bodies, are linked to weight gain and increased risk for metabolic syndrome and diabetes. “Human, animal, experimental, and other studies show artificial sweeteners can be just as bad and maybe even worse than regular sugar” says Dr. Mark Hyman.
- Damaging to Our Guts – We have trillions of beneficial bacteria in our guts that effect everything from digestive health to brain health. Keeping them healthy is paramount to being healthy. A 2014 study revealed that certain gut bacteria may induce metabolic changes following exposure to artificial sweeteners.
- Increased Risk for Diabetes – “People who consume sugary drinks regularly—1 to 2 cans a day or more—have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks” reports the Harvard School of Public Health.
- Weight Gain and Obesity – The sugar in soda causes weight gain around the midsection.The more sugary drinks consumed per day, the more overall calories we eat later in the day, leading to weight gain and obesity. The body doesn’t register liquid calories, but our waistlines do.
- Devoid of Nutrition – One 12 ounce can of Coca-Cola has 140 calories with zero nutritional value. And drinking diet soda is no better. In fact, they can be worse in other ways. Soda is basically just water and water or liquid candy.
- Bisphenol-A – Most aluminum cans are lined with a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA), which disrupts hormones and is linked to diabetes, infertility, obesity and some cancers.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup – Soda often contains high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), an industrial food product and marker of highly processed foods that has shown to be contaminated with mercury. Dr. Hyman says “it is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay, and more” health problems.
- Phosphoric Acid in soda – Colas contain phosphoric acid. It’s an acidifying agent that give colas their tangy flavor. Too much may lead to heart problems, kidney problems, muscle loss, and bone loss.
- Caffeine – Makes you feel peppy and gives you a lift, but too much caffeine is really unhealthy not to mention addictive. Many people experience headaches from withdrawal when quitting soda. In comparison, while coffee varies, an 8 ounce cup generally has 95 mg of caffeine.
- Caramel Coloring – It’s what gives colas their brown color. Innocent sounding caramel coloring is created with potential cancer-causing chemicals like 4-methylimidazole (4-MI)
- Tooth Decay – Soda causes tooth decay because of excess sugar consumption. In fact LiveScience says “many popular diet and sugared sodas are nearly as corrosive to dental enamel as battery acid.”
- Loss of Bone Density – Particularly a problem for women as we age, due to the phosphoric acid in soda.
- GMO Ingredients – Sodas may contain ingredients that are genetically modified (GMO or GE), which you can’t tell by the label. GMO’s are linked in animal studies to organ damage, digestive problems, immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility
- An Expensive Habit – A habit is defined as a regular practice or behavior, especially one that is hard to give up. People habitually drink soda without thinking about what they are putting into their body. It seems so innocent, right? Just look at the pretty commercials that exude health and happiness from consuming the liquid candy. In fact, Americans spend nearly $65 billion dollars a year on the fizzy, sugary, chemically colored and artificially flavored beverage. The big three – Coca-Cola, Pepsico, and Dr. Pepper-Snapple are rich from pedaling their poison.
Last Notes – Big Soda and Advertising
For many, drinking soda is almost involuntary. We’ve become addicted, thanks to the soda industry. Sipping soda all day is like being hooked up to a sugar IV drip line.
Big Soda spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year not just in advertising, but funding scientists to create research that confuses the public making us think soda is really not a problem. But it IS a problem, and each day almost half of America drinks at least 1 soda.
And another incredible statistic, Big Soda has spent at least $106 million to defeat public health initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels since 2009, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
How to Quit Drinking Soda
You already know the answer: what you need is water. But many people say they just don’t like water. That’s because they are addicted to soda! Get off soda and get used to what your body really needs. Pure, clean, water. Its real refreshment.
- Start by diluting your soda with water or sparkling water, slowly moving to all water.
- To get the bubbles, drink sparkling water or sparkling mineral water
- To give the bubbles a cola taste, add Sweet Drops Sweet Leaf Cola Drops, liquid stevia with a cola taste
- Coke and Pepsi have vanilla and lemon in their syrup formulas, so try adding vanilla extract and a squeeze of lemon
- Try the other flavors of the liquid stevia drops, there are some 20 flavors
- For the brown color, try adding a little good quality Balsamic vinegar, which makes the drink a shrub
- Speaking of shrubs, here is a sparkling raspberry shrub recipe, tasty and refreshing
- Add lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber slices and berries to water for added flavor
- Try homemade iced herbal teas or green tea
- If you experience soda withdrawl, it’s probably the caffeine. It will get better.