by Amber White •
ChiroHealthUSA Social Media Specialist
Although soft drinks can be a sweet, thirst-quenching indulgence, they really should not be consumed regularly. Added sugar is unhealthy when consumed in excess. The large amounts of liquid sugar in soft drinks can lead to increased fat production, plus, they contain no essential nutrients, have addictive qualities, and may lead to diabetes 2 and heart disease. Here are a few small steps to start your journey to kick your soft drink addiction today.
Trying to quit drinking soft drinks cold turkey often isn’t realistic, so it’s best to set yourself up with realistic goals. If multiple cans are a part of your diet, immediate abandonment of soft drinks can lead to some pretty intense caffeine withdrawal headaches. If you drink multiple cans of soft drinks a day, try to eliminate a can or two from your daily total. As you continue to cut back successfully, try to aim for a can day or a couple of cans a week until you have weaned yourself off completely.
Try Carbonated Water
If carbonation is what you crave, why not pour yourself a glass of sparkling water? Now this beverage might be an acquired taste to some, but seltzers can most definitely satisfy any carbonation cravings. Best of all, sparkling water contains no acidic ingredients, sugar, or calories.
Add a Bit of Flavor
Those of you who don’t enjoy sipping just plain water can add taste to your beverage by infusing your water with cucumbers, lemons, berries, or citrus fruits. Not into making water infusions? That’s fine! There are pre-flavored waters available at your local grocery stores. Just be sure to check for sugars and acidic ingredients these companies might have added to enhance their product’s flavor.
Drink Green Tea
If it’s the caffeine that you crave from soft drinks, try adding green tea to your diet. According to Mayo Clinic, green tea is packed with antioxidants and has up to 28 mg of caffeine compared to a typical soft drink’s 22 mg. Not only is green tea a good source of caffeine but drinking unsweetened green tea will help you avoid the typical sugar crash followed by soft drink ingestion.
One of the hardest things while attempting to or already having kicked your soft drink addiction is not falling back into the trap of its sugary grasps. If you are an avid soft drink consumer, it might be second nature to grab a Diet Coke while at the gas station or order a drink to accompany your meal while you’re at a restaurant. Try to prevent running into a convenience store to grab a drink by carrying a water bottle or less sugary drink with you when you go out. When at a restaurant, order water or unsweetened tea. Or take your food to-go. Don’t feel strong enough to do so? Ask your companion to order water for you so that you won’t slip back into bad habits.
Although breaking any habit can be difficult, don’t fear. Take it one drink at a time and pace yourself. By following the tips above, you’ll start to crave soft drinks less and less. And before long, you may lose the taste for them entirely.