I did something this week that I’ve done at several points in my life. I stopped drinking soda – or “pop” as I used to call it when I lived in Canada. For the last few years, I haven’t been drinking what I would say is too much of the stuff. I can’t remember the last time I had a full-sugar soda. Even so, every time in my life that I’ve stopped consuming fizzy drinks, diet or regular, I see positive changes. Primarily, my weight goes down a few pounds and I feel like my energy levels are more even. I may return to a time where I drink them again, but like any addict, I will never quit quitting. You may want consider following my lead. Here’s the skinny on why I stopped drinking soda – yes, even diet soda.
Pop, pop, fizz, fizz!
There’s almost nothing better on a hot day than a fizzy soda. I remember happily drinking full-sugar Coca-Cola as a kid, loving the sweet taste and carbonation. When I was an adult, studies came out that said just how bad soda pop was for our health. We knew for a many years that it wasn’t exactly a health tonic. The sugar in regular soda wreaked havoc on our teeth and insulin levels. Drinking soda can deplete our bones of important nutrients like calcium. Our immune system gets knocked down due to a loss of magnesium.
I also vividly remember, in my mid-twenties, an ex-boyfriend pointing out that the chemicals in diet soda were probably just as bad or worse than the sugar in the regular stuff. That’s when I started hearing reports that even diet sodas were not the innocent, fun drinks they’re made out to be. They’re actually linked to increased weight gain. This checks out for me – as I said earlier, I always lose a little weight when I stop drinking all soda. The artificial sweeteners may not be totally safe, either. There’s a whole host of health problems that could be linked to those little pink/yellow/blue packets.
You may want to put down the La Croix
For a long time, I thought that switching to flavored seltzer water, like the very popular La Croix, was the solution to my craving for bubbly drinks. Unfortunately, they have their problems as well. Some research has found that the acidic pH makes them bad for your teeth. They could also, indirectly, cause weight gain. One study found that these drinks could make you hungrier and eat more than you might when consuming other beverages. The good news is, they are still a better choice than soda pop – both diet and regular – or fruit juice, for both your teeth and your overall health. For what it’s worth, I have stopped drinking them as well, and I can’t help but wonder that’s also part of my recent, slight weight loss.
It’s possible that at some point in my life, I’ll be drinking soda pop again. However, I’m confident that not drinking it is a better choice for my health. If you can’t seem to put down the Coca-Cola, I get it. It’s tasty. Nothing goes better with a burger and fries. You’re not a bad person for liking it. But I encourage you to consider taking it out of your diet. Consider all the reasons why I stopped drinking soda, and make the choice for yourself.