- Numerous studies found that soda is harmful to our health and is associated with many diseases including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Soda has no nutritional value and contains only excess calories and sugars which makes it one of the most unhealthy drinks.
- If you want to quit drinking soda, you should wean off easily. Remember that a lot of times you may confuse hunger or thirst with soda cravings. Plus, many people tend to get cravings when they are stressed.
- Diet soda is not the best soda alternative. Even though it contains no calories, it’s still sweetened with artificial sweeteners and has no nutritional value. It’s better to opt for healthier alternatives such as infused sparkling water, green tea, black coffee, kombucha, coconut water, or FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks.
Soda is one of the most popular drinks on the market with thousands of people drinking it every day. At the same time, many people try to quit and change to healthier alternatives. It’s not a secret that soda isn’t good for our health and is associated with many diseases including obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease, and many other chronic diseases. Even knowing all these facts, you may find yourself struggling to quit soda. In this article, we’ll talk about reasons why you should quit drinking soda and what alternatives you should opt for.
Why You Crave Soda
Drinking soda is a habit and we all know that habits are hard to break. Most of the time drinking soda is an unconscious decision and not because people crave it. It’s like any other habit. In order to break this habit, you need to decide on a strategy, put in some effort, and just be patient to reinforce the new behaviour. While it may be hard and tedious, it’s not impossible to rewire our brains.
The other factor why you may crave soda is its sugar and caffeine content that we quickly become dependent on. Some people also simply love soda’s taste and carbonation. Regardless of the case, there are some alternatives you should switch to that will help you to break this habit.
Plus, there are biochemical reasons why people crave sugary foods and drinks and it all comes down to our brains. We have a reward system in our brains that are designed to reward us for different actions that promote survival. These actions include eating and drinking. What happens is when we drink soda, dopamine is released in the brain - a chemical that gives us a feeling of pleasure. To release more dopamine, our brain starts craving actions that stimulate dopamine release, meaning drinking soda. This leads us to a cycle when the brain keeps seeking sugary drinks to receive a pleasure response.
Overall, we lack proof that there’s a true soda addiction that makes it hard for people to quit this drink. Yet those who feel they are dependent find quitting soda difficult both physically and emotionally.
Why You Should Stop Drinking Soda
There are many reasons why you should eliminate this sugary drink from your diet.
- Soda is a high-calorie drink and promotes weight gain. Research also supports that people who consume soda are more prone to weight gain than those who don’t.
- Soda is linked to many chronic diseases and many studies prove that soda drinkers are at higher risk of such chronic conditions as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
- Drinking soda causes tooth decay since soda contains phosphoric and carbonic acids. These acids alone can erode your teeth and if you combine them with sugar, the risk of tooth decay is even higher.
- Soda consumption can cause liver disease. Soda contains a lot of fructose which can be processed only by the liver. If you consume a lot of fructose it puts a lot of pressure on your liver which then contributes to chronic liver disorders.
- Research also suggests that drinking soda may worsen your skin condition. The proof was found that people who consume soda are at higher risk of having acne. Plus, drinking soda may promote skin ageing.
- Soda has no nutritional value but calories and sugar. It doesn’t contain any vitamins or minerals or other essential nutrients. While sugar-free sodas contain no calories, they are still harmful to you. The research found that even sugar-free sodas may lead to weight gain.
Considering that soda doesn’t have any nutritional value or health benefits, it’s logical that reducing its intake will only be beneficial. Not only you’ll avoid all the complications mentioned above, but also your taste buds will become more sensual to the sugar over time, leaving you room to feel all the delicious flavours.
What About Diet Soda
While many people think that switching to diet soda is a way to go, diet soda is no less harmful than the regular one. Even though it doesn’t contain sugar, it’s sweetened with many
artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose, neotame, saccharin, and acesulfame-K. Diet soda contains no nutritional value and is still harmful to your health. Plus, the research found that diet soda may contribute to various illnesses such as kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. That’s why if you’re looking for quitting soda, it’s better to replace it with healthier alternatives instead of diet soda.
How To Stop Drinking Soda
Quitting soda is not that easy but there are several steps that should help you cut back on soda and eliminate it from your diet.
Drink More Water
A lot of times people confuse soda cravings with thirst. If you crave a can of soda, try drinking a glass of water first and wait for some time. If your craving fades away then you were probably just thirsty.
Avoid Getting Hungry
Just like you may confuse soda cravings with thirst, you may also confuse it with hunger. Try not to get hungry and have something to snack on. Make sure you eat regularly and don’t skip your meals.
A Healthy Sweet Treat
Soda cravings might be just sugar cravings in which case a sweet treat may help. Opt for a healthy sweet treat such as fruits or berries or even sugar-free chewing gum. Try not to drink fruit juices instead of soda. Even though they contain some nutrients, they are still high in sugar.
Manage Your Stress Levels
A lot of people crave unhealthy foods and drinks when they are stressed. Studies and research found that people under stress consume more calories and have more food cravings. If your soda cravings are the result of stress, find a strategy that works for you whether it’s a walk, yoga, or meditation.
Replace Unhealthy Behaviour
One of the keys to replacing the old habit with a new one is to change the behaviour. That said if you find yourself craving soda, try to distance yourself from this though. Go for a walk, watch a TV show, take a shower, or find something that’ll make you change your focus and distance you from the thoughts about soda.
Another helpful and no-brainer tip is to avoid storing soda in your household and in easy-to-access areas. That way you won’t feel tempted and it may also help to decrease the cravings.
The easiest way to quit soda is to find a healthy alternative. For example, if you crave soda for carbonation, try drinking infused sparkling water. You can add different fruits, mint, or cucumber and get a delicious soda substitute.
If, on the other hand, you have cravings for caffeine, green tea or black coffee are excellent choices. Green tea also has potent antioxidant properties. If you drink caffeinated soda, be ready for caffeine withdrawal. That includes symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and mood swings. If you want to ease the side effects and wean off slower, tea and coffee may help.
There are a lot of delicious sparkling drinks that are not only tasty but also nutritious. For example, FUL® sparkling spirulina drinks are one of the best soda alternatives. Spirulina is the most nutrient-rich food on the planet and is not only full of vital vitamins and minerals, but also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.
Other alternatives are kombucha and coconut water, both of which will be beneficial for your body and will help you cope with your cravings.
How to stop drinking soda?
As with any other habit, quitting soda may be hard and tedious but it’s possible. All you need is to find delicious and healthy alternatives and be consistent. Try to distance yourself from soda cravings and do something that will focus your mind on something else, such as going for a walk, doing your hobby, or watching a TV show.
What happens when you quit drinking soda cold turkey?
If you quit drinking soda cold turkey you may experience caffeine withdrawal. This results in symptoms like headaches and fatigue. If you want to ease your way into quitting soda, try substituting it for caffeinated drinks such as green or black tea and coffee.
What happens to your body when you stop taking soda?
Quitting soda will bring a lot of benefits to your body and will improve your overall health. Because you’ll lower sugar and calorie intake, you will significantly lower the risk of weight gain and other conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
What can I replace soda with?
There are a lot of healthy soda alternatives that are not only delicious but nutrient-rich as well. For example, you can drink sparkling water infused with fruits or berries of your choice. For delicious sparkling water try FUL® spirulina-infused drinks. You can also try drinking green tea or black coffee for the caffeine. A lot of people switch from soda to kombucha or coconut water.