I might have been seven years old when I tasted it for the first time. I was at my neighbour and friend’s birthday party.
We were all having a great time — all sorts of treats, on a giant snack table.
After all, isn’t that the main reason kids like to go to parties?
There was simply nothing that could make this day any better. After running, jumping, shouting, playing games… I was tired and thirsty. We all descended on the snack table to refuel. And that’s when I saw it. The sweet, bubbly, carbonated drink that I had only ever dreamed of tasting.
My parents were never really strict about what we ate. They weren’t health nuts who swore us off all processed food and sugar from a young age. They came from a different age.
But the one thing that we were never allowed to have grown up, was soda – or what we called soft drink in those days.
But on this day, at my best friend’s birthday party, I had my first sip of the bubbly beverage. And I was instantly hooked.
From that day on, whenever I saw it — at pizza parties, friends’ houses, and school dances, I found and drank soda.
Even when I became more aware of the negative impacts of consuming excess sugar, I didn’t stop. I simply switched to diet soda. It was healthier because it had no sugar or calories, right? Er… No…
The Simple Facts
Drinking a lot can turn into fat in your liver. (And boy, I did!)
Consuming too much sugar overloads your liver and turns it into fat. This can lead to fatty liver disease, which affects 25 percent of the world’s population. It has been linked to obesity and types 2 diabetes.
Soda is one of the easiest ways to overload your liver.
A single can contains about 39 grams of sugar.
So, by downing a 375ml/12 oz can of soda, you’ve already well exceeded the daily maximum recommendation of added sugar in your diet (25 grams). You’ll be forcing your body to process a heavy load of poison that it certainly doesn’t want.
It increases dangerous fat stores.
Think Belly fat.
The increase in belly fat that results from drinking sugary beverages like soda has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, putting yourself at risk of early death. Heart disease is one of the top killers, and it’s highly related to diet. Reducing or replacing soda might just put you on a better path to increasing your lifespan.
However… it’s not the sugar alone that’s worrisome.
Thinking about switching to diet soda?
It’s what I did. Maybe, I thought, that by swapping my regular soda out for a diet one, I’d get rid of all the sugar and solve my problems. Turns out, diet soda isn’t much better. In fact, it could even be worse.
Diet soda uses artificial sweeteners to mimic the sweetness of traditional soda without the sugar and calories.
However, the chemicals contained in diet soda contribute to heart, metabolic, brain, and liver problems.
Also, because of the extreme sweetness of the artificial sweeteners, your sugar cravings might be amplified after drinking diet soda.
While the results aren’t 100 per cent certain yet, I still don’t choose to potentially subject myself to those negative side effects.
Soda, whether it be diet or regular, doesn’t have any nutritional value, so you aren’t providing your body with any nourishment by drinking it.
Here are some things that helped me quit soda:
Switched to bubbly waters — Switching to healthier alternatives like San Pellegrino helped me still get that carbonation fix without all the added sugar and chemicals. It’s just bubbly water that is naturally essenced with no sugar, so it’s way healthier than a can of soda. Or get yourself a SodaStream and use your beautiful pure energised water from your UltraStream.
Quit cold turkey — I think it would have been incredibly hard if I continued to drink any soda. Processed sugar is highly addictive, so by staying disciplined those first few weeks, I was able to kick the soda drinking habit for good.
I ate natural sugars — Replacing my typical soda with natural sugars such as fruits and healthy desserts without a bunch of added sugar helped me immensely. I still satisfied my sweet tooth, but I didn’t have to sacrifice my health in the process. Finally, having broken the surly bonds of sugar addiction and substituting ‘natural’ sugars, I realised I was still kidding myself. Today I have no sugar.. and my palate has expanded, refined and given me taste experiences I never thought possible.
Honestly, I Understand.
Habits can be incredibly hard to break, and any single one that is negatively impacting your health and potentially shortening your lifespan is more than just worth addressing. Keep at it, you’ll get there eventually.
Most people on soda don’t drink water. Many of them experience bloating when they drink fluoridated, chlorinated tap water. So invest in a water filter that REALLY filters and energizes your water. You be amazed at what you missed and the soda bogeyman will hate you for it.
If you’d like to get off the bottled water merry go round, drop us a line and we’ll show you how you can massively reduce the money you spend on good water.. forever.