Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Ill Effects of Soda

Soda is bad for you. It’s no secret. None of us drink soda thinking that we’re doing our body a favor. We drink it because we “need” the caffeine. We drink it because it tastes good. And yes, it does taste good. We all have our own preferences to what kinds we like (I am a Diet Coke girl, with the occasional Diet Dr. Pepper thrown in there for variation), but the fact is, it’s bad for you. Check out this diagram to see just how bad. You can click on the link below the picture to see a larger image.

I found this link on one of my favorite food blogs this week, TheKitchn, and immediately decided to share it with my sister. I honestly don’t know how much soda she drinks; I don’t see her drink it a lot. However, I have seen her give soda to my nephew and it bothered me. Don’t we have enough sugary treats in this world without introducing soda to a 22 month old? The response I saw from her friends and our family is what really surprised me. One cousin took it to heart and has not had a soda since. She’s on day 4, and while she admittedly had a craving, she chose to drink Crystal Light instead (way to go Sus!) Another cousin shared this diagram with her 8-year old daughter and the daughter declared the whole family was giving up soda. An 8-year old that LOVES soda just gave it up and told the whole family to do so as well! It’s great seeing a kid making a healthy choice all on her own!

Have I given up soda for good? No, probably not. I’m sure that I will drink soda on occasion still. But I am being very conscious of my decision to drink a soda and the frequency in which I do. One thing that helps in this decision is a rule I have with myself. I don’t allow myself to drink a soda unless I’ve had at least 60 ounces of water that day. I also have read enough articles about the effects of caffeine and the time it stays in your system that I don’t allow myself soda after 4:00 in the afternoon. I have enough trouble sleeping through the night; I don’t need the extra caffeine disrupting that!

I have a lot of friends that drink at least 1 soda a day. Do I think they’ll give it up? No. But hopefully they’ll at least think twice next time they reach for that can in the fridge. Plus, think of the money you’ll save by drinking less soda!

Believe me, it’s not easy giving up soda. I gave it up completely for Lent my senior year of high school because I was working at a place where it was free and found myself drinking 1-2 per day! And in my current work situation, there’s a QuickTrip right across the street from our building. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about running over there for a fountain drink (or some candy, I have a HUGE sweet tooth), but I make the decision not to. And you can too!

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