For starters, a quick disclaimer. This article isn’t sponsored by any of the big soft drink companies! After all, it’s aimed at helping you to stop drinking soda. But I thought you should know that in case you were thinking that maybe I’d be using some kind of reverse psychology to actually get you to drink more of this sugar water.
1. Way too much sugar
There’s lots and lots and lots of sugar – or more usually in America, high fructose corn syrup – in your soft drink.
If you piled between 10 and 12 teaspoons of sugar into your cup of tea or coffee, most people would think you were decidedly odd.
But that’s the sugar equivalent in a regular 12 ounce can of cola – it varies a bit by brand but whichever brand, I think you’ll agree that’s a lot.
2. More fat for you
As we’ve evolved, it’s only been in the last century or two that we’ve had ready access to sugar in the concentrated quantities we have nowadays. So we don’t do anything with it except store it in the form of fat cells in our bodies.
3. The diet version is even worse
Hopefully you’re too old to believe everything you’re told on television adverts.
But, just in case, you need to know that diet soft drinks are actually worse for you than the occasional sugar laden versions.
So if you really must drink soda, save it for high days and holidays and savor the extra badness of the full sugar versions.
Because actually your body treats the diet version as containing sugar and reacts accordingly. After all, we’ve only had a generation to adapt to artificial sweeteners and that’s too short a time (by quite a few thousand years) for us to adapt.
4. Water hydrates you better
All those sports drinks that claim to hydrate you are being economical with the truth.
You probably already guessed that. After all, the “research” was sponsored by the sports drinks manufacturers so the chance of it being unbiased is close to zero.
Our bodies have used water since we came into existence and it’s still far and away the best way for us to rehydrate ourselves.
So save your money and drink water rather than some concoction with a fancy name, fancy label and fancy price.
5. You’ll sleep better
Lots of soda drinks contain caffeine. And the caffeine hit can be quite large – especially in energy drinks, but even a regular cola isn’t exactly innocent in these stakes.
So at the very least, cut down on caffeinated soft drinks for quite a few hours before you intend to go to sleep. Otherwise you’ll find that the buzz keeps you awake longer than you anticipated.
There are lots of other reasons to stop drinking soda but the next real question is “how?”.
Going cold turkey isn’t pleasant – you’ll likely get headaches and other withdrawal symptoms – so it’s better to cut down drinking soda over a few weeks.