One of the biggest changes in our dietary habits over the past 50 years HAS to be our constant consumption of soda. The combination of the refreshing fizz and a caffeine kick has made it a staple of our daily diets.
Personally, at one time, I was up to as many as 8-10 12 oz. servings per day. Especially on a weekend, it wasn’t uncommon for me to chug a 2-liter bottle or more. Sadly, I was under the impression that because it was “diet” it was about the same as drinking water. Wow, what a mistake. After doing some research, here’s what I’ve found out.
- Diet soda contains funky chemicals and preservatives, sometimes including sodium benzoate. Which, when exposed to light and Vitamin C, turns into benzene. Benzene is a known carcinogen found in things like gasoline.
- Diet soda is acidic and damages your teeth.
- The artificial colors and chemicals are “generally considered safe”. However, I don’t think they were ever intended to be consumed constantly, all day long, year round.
- Some of these ingredients are suspected of aggravating ADD and other behavioral issues.
- The body’s metabolic response to drinking an artificially sweetened diet soda is similar to drinking a regular soda! So, although you’re sparing some calories, your body still reacts as if you did and this slows any attempts to burn fat!
- Part of the reason you crave soda is because your body needs fluids. You’re thirsty! When you drink a soda with caffeine, it actually removes water from your body, making you more thirsty. No wonder I was drinking more and more soda!
So, with all this in mind, I decided it was best to stop drinking sodaas much as possible. Obviously, if I was going to stop soda, I needed to find something to replace it. Like many “soda heads” I felt that I needed something with some flavor. Here are a few options that I found worked great for me:
- Ice water with a squeeze of lemon
- Home brewed iced tea (decaf fruit teas are a great option)
- Black coffee (iced in the summer)
After some time, I even found that just plain ice water is good. It took time, but it’s the truth!
Now that I’ve stuck to mostly water and tea, I’ve found that I have less cravings for junk food, my skin looks better, I am less hungry, my joints feel better, and I recover more quickly from my workouts!
Have you stopped drinking soda? Why? How did it go? Suggestions? Tips?