Soda is one of the most common household beverages, and it is also one of the worst to drink when it comes to physical health. Soda contains loads of caffeine, chemicals for artificial flavoring, and sugars that hold the body hostage, and the victim doesn’t even realize it. These ingredients slowly destroy the teeth, leading to a lifetime of dental issues. Soda also contributes to obesity, diabetes, and other weight-related diseases. There are a number of reasons it is very difficult to quit drinking soda, including caffeine and sugar addiction as well as simply being habitual. Below are five tips to help soda addicts and lovers alike try to put down the can:
Drink Water First
Every time the urge for soda strikes, simply drink a glass of water. Sometimes this can satisfy the urge to drink a soda. Filling the stomach can eliminate any cravings the body may have. When thirsty, there is nothing that compares to water when it comes to health. Drinking water every day is important regardless of how much soda one drinks. Drinking soda is a habit and the more that drinking water can be associated with that habit, the better for the body. We get it, drinking water can get stale, but there are many ways to flavor water that you can try that will give you something to look forward to!
Try Sparkling Water
Much like how some smokers simply desire to have the hand-to-mouth movement to satisfy their habit, a soda addiction may be solved by simply introducing new carbonated beverages into the diet. Similarly to the tip above, carbonation from sparkling water will fill up the stomach and likely suppress urges to drink soda. Carbonation may actually be the cause of the addiction, and in that case, sparkling water will be the end of the soda drinking habits.
Sparkling water comes in many different flavors and can bring some diversity to the palette, which satisfies most desires for beverages other than plain water. Note that sparkling water is not the same as club soda or tonic water; the latter two contain additional ingredients that make them similar in composition to soda, such as sodium and sweeteners.
Find Another Source Of Caffeine
Caffeine withdrawal is likely the most common reason for soda addiction. Caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, depressed mood, and difficulty concentrating, according to WebMD. Caffeine is incredibly addictive and very hard to quit suddenly. A great alternative is to switch to a different source of caffeine and eventually taper down.
Coffee contains approximately 95-165 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce cup, and soda contains approximately 24-46 milligrams of caffeine for every eight ounces of soda, according to Mayo Clinic. In caffeine content, one cup of coffee equals slightly less than three 12-ounce cans of soda. This makes coffee a great alternative to soda in terms of caffeine intake.
Another option is the caffeine pill. These pills contain on average 200 milligrams of caffeine, but lower doses can be purchased. It is important to be very careful with these pills. Taking more than one can cause issues with the heart, especially for those less accustomed to the effects of caffeine. This option is only recommended for those with a true caffeine addiction, as it can be dangerous.
Find A Sugar Substitute
Another very common ingredient in soda is sugar. Even in diet soda, sugar substitutes can lead to sweet cravings. Introducing a new source of sugar, especially in the form of a beverage, can help reduce cravings for sweet sodas. Juices are probably the most common option when it comes to sweet, relatively-healthy beverages. It is important to monitor juice intake because it is high in sugars and carbohydrates and can lead to weight gain. Another option to reduce sugar cravings are granola bars or other small moderately sweet treats. Again, anything containing a lot of sugar should be monitored, as it can lead to weight gain and other health problems. It is important to limit intake of these treats and practice moderation.
As humans, the mind responds to positive reinforcement like many other animals. Moving past cravings and rewarding the body with something else it desires can create a learned behavior to look past soda. This can be in the form of other snacks and treats in moderation. One can also incrementally reduce soda intake by only drinking soda after avoiding the beverage for a preset amount of time increased gradually over a period. This may not be the best solution for everyone, as some may be more likely to succeed when quitting soda completely.
These tips have helped many in the past, and a combination of these tips will be more likely to be successful. The most important tool is the use of moderation. Addiction is a difficult condition to overcome, but it is absolutely possible with the use of various techniques. Soda is not a healthy option when it comes to beverages, and reducing or stopping intake has helped many lives.