Updated: May 23
Do you want the truth? You don’t need to read any further to know you should always choose a glass of water over a can of soda. But if you think reading some of the gory details on why will help you just say no to cola in your weak moments, be my guest!
I still drink soda.
Even though as far back as third grade I can remember hearing stories about what happened when you poured Coke on a hubcap. (It was similar to what battery acid would do, supposedly.)
Apparently I’m not alone, though. Americans spent over $30 million on carbonated soft drinks in 2020. While the amount we’re consuming is decreasing, we can do better.
I’m going to keep it simple. The reasons we should all kick our soda habit are hiding in plain sight.
A Spoonful of Sugar.
How about 10? That’s what’s in a 12-ounce can of soda. 160 calories with zero nutritional value but tons of negative impact.
www.steponefoods.com › how-soda-affects-your-body
Let’s say soda drinkers limit themselves to a can a day. Over time, they still have a:
· 20% higher risk of a heart attack than those who don’t
· 75% higher risk of getting gout than those who don’t
· 18% higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes than those who don’t
Do I have your attention yet? And don’t think you’ve dodged a bullet with your sugar-free version—I haven’t, either—I’ll get to the diet-drinkers later.
The thing is, sugar changes your brain. It’s addictive. People who drink it regularly do it to the tune of nearly a gallon a week.
By the Gallon Leads to the Ton.
Work with me here: If consuming 100 extra calories a day leads to 10 pounds added to your body each year, do the math. Soda is not your friend when it comes to maintaining your natural weight. Should we keep letting our sweet tooth make decisions that will ultimately make it fall out?
Just Like Candy.
1/3 of the sugar Americans consume comes from drinking soda. Sounds like an easy way to lighten the load would be to step away from stuff. Think about it: Less sugar means less empty calories means less obesity and less Type 2 Diabetes. It certainly seems like a step in the direction of a healthier country.
As for the Holier Than Thou’s of Us…
I told you I’d get to us diet soda drinkers. Those of us who think we can skirt the sugar issue via aspartame. Not so fast…
Science shows that ingesting aspartame causes carbohydrate cravings. Sounds an awful lot like the munchies to me, and rumor has it that those can do a number on a waistline in a hurry, as in increasing it. Although this weight gain ends up stored in fat cells mostly on the hips and thighs, ladies. It’s a safe bet that none of us drinking diet sodas are looking for this particular side effect. And more dangerously, it looks like aspartame leads to problems in diabetic control. Ironic, right?
What’s with the Bait and Switch?
No fair—if we aren’t eating sugar, how do we end up with the same rotten results? It turns out evolution is the culprit. Before we had Uber Eats and convenience stores, our ancestors had to forage for food. Sugary foods are great energy sources which was important when you didn’t know when you’d get to eat again. And conversely, bitter or sour tastes can indicate poisonous or rotten food—no bueno for our bodies. Our brilliant biology developed a preference for sweet tastes so that humans survived the lean times of our history. Fast-forward to now: Way too easy to access food. We just need to override our tastebuds for health’s sake.
What Was the Last Thing I Was Going to Say? Oh, yeah—Memory.
Remember when I mentioned that sugar is addictive? That’s a short way of saying it affects the brain, and by affects, I mean damages it. High glucose levels in the bloodstream lead to slower cognitive function, shorter attention spans, and reduced memories. And, no, you don’t get to pick and choose which ones you forget.
I Hate to Say I Told You So…
Just drink water.
Start by replacing one soda a week with a great-tasting water. You’ll be hydrating your body, reprogramming your brain to get off the sweet stuff, and feeling good about yourself.
So good that eventually you might dare to turn the corner and never reach for a soda again.
I’ll be rooting for us.
While you’re thinking about starting a new, healthy habit, check out MORE Oxygenated Alkaline Water. It tastes great and won’t highjack your health.