I know that we are only human, and we all have our vices. But soda consumption is probably one of the biggest contributors to poor health. I cringe when I remember how I used to pretty much ONLY drink soda, from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed. Yuck!
The sad part is that the only reason why I finally quit soda was because it was physically making me ill. When I was dealing with GERD and esophageal spasms several years ago, soda was one of my triggers and that was what finally got me to stop it. And that is unfortunately a common trend with people: they only give things up when it starts to cause problems (either symptoms or an actual diagnosis of an illness). We are taught nothing about preventing illnesses, only how to make changes once we are already sick.
Soda companies spend on average $3 BILLION a year on advertising (source) and they rake in about $43 BILLION (source). They only care about filling their pockets, and helping the pharmaceutical companies out by giving them life-long customers when we get ill because of that toxic soda junk. A recent study has shown that nearly 100 health organizations have been funded by one or both of the popular soda companies. So our “health advice” is basically coming from people that want us to be unhealthy. Think about that for a second!
SO! Let’s talk about WHY soda is so bad, and how we can kick the habit with minimal complaints and discomfort.
Negative effects of drinking soda:
- One soda a day gives you a 20% increased risk of having a heart attack one day
- Within 20 minutes of consumption, your blood sugar spikes and your liver ends up turning that sugar into fat for storage (hello, obesity)
- It causes kidney issues
- It causes reproductive issues
- Need I mention dental cavities?
- It increases the chance of developing type II diabetes
- Can cause osteroporosis
- It increases your risk of asthma
- Artificial sweeteners in diet sodas are linked to cancer, obesity, diabetes, infertility, and many other health issues as well.
- The Caramel coloring in soda is carcinogenic
- Read more here if you’re still not convinced on how bad soda is.
How to Kick the Soda Habit
Soda can be extremely addictive- I totally understand that. For those that have tried to kick the habit but end up picking it back up, going slowly is fine. If you are drinking more than 1 serving a day, try dropping down to just once a day for a few days. Many people notice caffeine withdrawal symptoms when they cut out soda which can be unpleasant so going cold turkey isn’t for everyone.
What to replace soda with:
- Kombucha is one of the easiest things to switch over to from soda. It’s still bubbly and most are sweet, and if you’re lucky enough to find the Live! Soda brand, you’ll have no problems switching over. Kombucha helps so much with gut and liver health which will be great for those that have been downing soda most of their lives. Plus, if you end up enjoying it then you can make it yourself and have fun experiementing with flavors! Check out Kombucha Kamp for great info!
- Sparkling Water is another easy one to switch to. Many of the popular bottled water brands have great flavored sparkling waters with no sweeteners of any kind so make sure you read the labels!
- Herbal Infusions might not be soda-like, but they are a great way to introduce more nutrient dense beverages into your life, which will help undo the damage that soda does. Nettles, Red raspberry leaf, and oatstraw are the usual favorites, but you can read all about them in this post, including how to make them and what they help with.
- And if you absolutely MUST have soda (as a treat, every once in a while), look for organic options. There are plenty of them now. Blue Sky is a great brand that has organic or even Stevia options. Just please stop drinking the corn syrup filled poison!
If you or a loved one is trying to kick their soda habit, please share! Health can start with one simple step and eliminating soda can be HUGE!