Soft drinks may be delicious, but the chemical junk that comes with the tastiness does both long and short term damage to your body.
The good news is that fewer people consume soda – 63 percent avoided it in 2014 compared to 41 percent in 2002, according to Gallup – but many still can’t resist the sweet beverage – the average person drinks 45 gallons a year.
“Drinking soda can absolutely be addictive, due to both the addictive nature of sugar and caffeine,” Andrea Moss, holistic nutrition coach and founder of Moss Wellness, says. “There have been studies done that show that sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine!”
It’s a never-ending vicious cycle. Sugar pushes on the “pleasure response” in our brain, according to Moss, causing people to crave more of it when they eat it regularly. “Additionally, the blood sugar rollercoaster that sugar causes can create more cravings as we experience sugar crashes, followed by the desire to consume more sugar to pick our energy levels back up.”
Even if you’ve made the conscious choice to steer clear of soft drinks, you may find it difficult. “Like any goal we have, first we have to set the intention,” Moss adds. “Get clear around why you want to stop drinking soda, and connect (emotionally) with this reason daily. Are you seeking better health? A slimmer waistline? More energy?”
The next step is to find other beverages to drink in place of soda. “There are definitely carbonated beverages that are much healthier than your typical sodas/diet sodas,” Moss says. The best choice is water, but you have options if you don’t like plain ol’ H2O. “Club soda is a great option (add some fresh lemon or lime, or a splash of your favorite fruit juice). Kombucha, a fermented carbonated tea, is another great soda replacement that’s much healthier (and quite trendy these days).”
Eliminating soda, diet or regular, will improve your overall health in many ways. You won’t be slowly killing yourself anymore.