Soda drinking in the U.S. has continued to decrease in the past two decades. As of 2018, the average annual consumption of soda per person is 38.87 gallons. This is 25 percent less than the annual consumption back in 2000.
Despite this trend, many still do consume soda regularly. Some even drink more soda than water every day, which isn’t good for their health.
Being a sugary drink, soda pop can be very addictive. If you seldom drink it, the health risk it poses may not be as bad. But quitting the drink for good will be much better for your body in the long run.
How to Quit Soft Drinks
Generally, there are two ways to quit anything.
Going cold turkey is one option. But it does have its risks. You might experience withdrawal symptoms, especially if you’ve been dependent on soda for a long time.
If you can’t stop at once, consider minimizing your soda intake gradually. If you usually drink a can of soda a day, start by only drinking thrice in one week. Then lower the intake as each week passes by.
It’s also important that you understand your triggers. Ask yourself what makes you drink soda. This way, you’ll have an easier time avoiding these triggers and stopping yourself from drinking soda. This strategy is similar to what experts do to help people in alcohol treatment programs.
Negative Effects of Soft Drink Consumption
Below is a list of the negative effects of drinking soda. Understanding these effects can motivate you to push through with quitting soda consumption.
Headaches have several causes. Some examples are stress, inadequate sleep, and hunger, among others. But if you also drink soda regularly and often experience headaches, your soda consumption may be the reason.
A chemical called aspartame is an artificial sweetener commonly used in diet sodas, such as Diet Coke and Fanta Zero. And studies have found that it causes headaches in a small percentage of people. Quitting soda will reduce the probable causes of your headache and will make you feel better in the long run.
Higher Risk of Diabetes
According to the CDC’s 2020 report, 10.5 percent of the U.S. population have diabetes. This disease is also the seventh leading cause of death in the country as of 2017.
The consumption of sugary drinks puts you at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One study found that people who consume one to two cans of soft drinks per day increase their risk by 26 percent.
As much as you can, you need to watch your health to reduce your risk of diabetes. And you can get started by quitting soft drinks.
Higher Risk of Heart Disease
Drinking sugary drinks such as soda heightens triglycerides in your body. Triglycerides harden artery walls, which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Earlier, it was pointed out that soda consumption can lead to diabetes. More often than not, diabetes and cardiovascular risk are connected. Excess blood sugar can narrow your blood vessels. This interrupts blood flow and puts your heart at risk. So if you cut your soda consumption to reduce your risk of diabetes, you also lower your risk of heart diseases.
Bad for the Bones
There is evidence that drinking soft drinks can affect bone health. Drinking large amounts of this carbonated drink reduces bone density and increases one’s risk of bone fracture and more serious bone diseases, such as osteoporosis.
Good bone health is important to preserve your mobility. So for your future self’s sake, it’s best to quit drinking soda as soon as you can.
Aside from your physical health, dental health is also affected by drinking soda regularly. Soda damages the enamel of your teeth. And in time, it leads to dental erosion and severe tooth decay. Thus, ditching soda for good will help you preserve your smile and improve your overall dental health as long as you observe proper dental hygiene.
Possible Mental Health Deterioration
One study looked at the relationship between soft drink consumption and mental health by looking at 4,741 participants from South Australia. Researchers found that drinking soda increases the risk of mental health problems, such as anxiety, stress, depression, suicidal ideation, and psychological distress. Many other studies found similar results.
In this case, quitting soda will not just help you improve your physical health. You also save your mental health.
With any drinks, moderation is important. But sometimes, the best option is to quit entirely. And this is the case with soft drinks. If you quit, you remove threats to your health in the long term.