If you have lived or visited the Midwest as I have, you may notice the majority of people drink “Pop” or Soda quite frequently. Yet, right across the country, in California, drinking soda is not as common. This could be for a variety of reasons, for example, being more health conscious of what they eat/ drink, or what affects their physical appearance. However, what some people do not know is that soda has a tendency to become very addicting and a habit that can be hard to break. This is especially true if you are trying to overcome a substance abuse problem or recovering from drug addiction. It may be easy to become hooked off of one and on to another. Of course, soda is better for you, however, it can still be damaging to your mental/ physical health and appearance. Loving the taste of the bubbly soft drink and drinking it habitually, is also why some may have a hard time giving it up. Speaking from personal experience, it is not easy to quit! Recently, I have been introduced to soda again from a relative visiting me from Michigan, our fridge was stocked with it for weeks! After he left, wherever I went, I couldn’t help but buy some. I. Was. Hooked.
According to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, soda is addictive for two main reasons. One being, that the sugar in soda causes dopamine releases in the brain, stimulating pleasure centers. The other reason why soda can be addictive is the lifestyle associated with it, like keeping it in the fridge.
A dependence on soda can lead to many unwanted side effects. Not only are there potential physical side effects of drinking soda such as unwanted weight gain, obesity, heart failure, aging, etc. but also mental health consequences. For instance, behavior problems, aging, depression, memory loss, and insomnia.
So how do I quit?
- Substitute soda with iced water, coffee, juice, or tea.
- Only drink soda on occasion, do not buy it at the grocery store to sit in your fridge.
- Think about the unwanted side effects.
- If you live with other people and they drink soda, try to quit together.
If you do decide you want to continue to drink soda on a daily or weekly basis, it is important to work out, to support your gut and mental health. Working out can also help with your motivation and allows you to stick to a healthier diet. It is important to know that just because you do not notice the side effects of habitually drinking soda, doesn’t mean they aren’t happening to you. I know first-hand that soda is addictive, however, I also know that if you put your mind to something, you can do it. I recently decided not to drink coca-cola all of the time because it would affect my physical appearance. What’s your reason?