Have you considered a soda detox? When you’re dragging in the morning or feel the afternoon slumps, can sugary drinks give you an energy boost? Maybe you are like many people who grab a can for the sweet taste.
While the caffeine may give you a boost of energy, you’d be shocked at the empty calories you’re consuming. Always remember you should eat your calories and not drink them. The State of California feels so strongly about reducing soda intake that they have legislation that requires all manufacturing companies to put warnings on the cans.
The 4-1-1 On Soda
An article published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine details the calorie count for seventeen of the top full-sugar 12-ounce cans of pop. They range from 135 to 180 calories per can, which gives an average of about 158 calories. Only nine of the 17 popular varieties have caffeine.
How many cans of soda do you average a day? Let’s assume that you drink one for each meal and one for a snack to equal four cans daily. If you take the 158 calories per can average, you would be consuming 632 empty calories. On an average two thousand calorie per day diet, almost 32 percent of your daily caloric allowance.
According to a report published by Healthy Food America, full-sugar soda represents at least 68 percent of sugary drinks purchased annually in America. The report also states that at least half of all added sugar in adults’ diets comes from high-sugar beverages. People in a lower-income bracket tend to drink at least fifteen percent more sugary pop than those with higher incomes, per the report.
Besides high-calorie sodas, you may also be guzzling full-sugar sports drinks and other beverage mixes. When your body gets used to that onslaught of sugar and caffeine, it becomes a “fix” that’s difficult to overcome. The good news is that you can start a detox plan that can help you effectively kick the habit.
Steps for Soda Detox
No matter what your choice of sweet beverages, you can learn to exchange them for healthier options. It may take some time and patience, but your well-being is worth it. Here are some practical ways to do a soda detox plan to give you victory over your sugar addiction.
1. Change Your Habits Slowly
Have you decided to call it quits on soda and other sugary beverages? It’s a health-smart decision that you won’t regret. Just remember to give yourself some time to ease into the detox process.
Of course, you’re all revved up and may be determined to kick the habit. Unfortunately, going “cold turkey” can backfire on you. Remember that your body has grown used to the massive doses of sugar and caffeine.
If you stop suddenly, your body will react with unpleasant symptoms, like headaches, shakiness, and nausea. Instead, start your detox slowly so your body will gradually wean. Begin with drinking one less soda or sugary beverage the first day.
Give your body a couple of days, and then eliminate another can of soda. Keep giving yourself these adjustment periods until you’ve entirely weaned yourself from all pop and other sugar-filled drinks.
2. Switch to Diet Soda
One option is to switch to diet soda to avoid all the sugar. However, it’s not an easy fix. The artificial sweeteners used in sugar-free beverages and other “diet” foods have been a source of contention in the medical research community for years.
Many sugar-free drinks are sweetened with aspartame, a controversial chemical. According to a study published by Research in Nursing and Health, high doses of aspartame may lead to physical and cognitive issues.
If you switch to artificially sweetened pop and other beverages, shouldn’t you lose weight? Probably so, states an article published by the Endocrine Society. However, the report also warns that some people who consume artificial sweeteners may feel hungrier and gain more weight.
Although drinking artificially sweetened pop and other beverages may make sense, consider the possible side effects. A total soda detox will wean your system from all products, including diet pop. Neither sugar nor its artificial replacements are good for you.
3. Water It Down
In the initial stages of your soda detox, you will probably miss the flavor and the bubbly kick you get with each sip. Try this little trick to appease your addicted taste buds. Pour half the can of soda into a glass and top it off with seltzer water.
You will still get the effervescence with only about half the sugar and caffeine.
Remember that this is only a temporary step. Your goal is to eliminate as many sugary sodas and beverages from your diet. Doing the half-and-half is better than quitting cold turkey.
4. Identify Your Triggers
Most bad habits are behaviors that are usually automatic triggers. For example, after getting ready, the first thing you do is grab a soda for breakfast. You may habitually reach for the cold soda on your desk throughout your workday.
When you sit down at home after a long day of work, your mind triggers you to enjoy a soda. You love the sugary, bubbly goodness of your favorite cola and wouldn’t think of serving a meal without it. Not only do mealtimes trigger your pop cravings, but so may watching your favorite shows or enjoying a sporting event.
If you get a headache or feel sluggish, it may be your hint to pop open a soda or two. Now that you’ve identified triggers and time cues, you can be ahead of them with better beverage alternatives.
The whole idea is to wean your body from pop and train it to enjoy other drinks. It may take a few weeks for your body to get used to it, but your improved health is worth it.
5. Chug More Water
An article published by the United States Geological Society mentions that your body comprises at least 73 percent water. Without this vital liquid, life on earth would be impossible. However, does soda give you all the water your body needs to stay healthy?
An article from the Mayo Clinic cites recommendations for women to consume at least 11.5 cups of water per day and men at least 15.5 cups. Your body gets about 20 percent of water from food, and the remainder is from consuming water and other beverages. You may need more water in tropical regions or while doing strenuous exercise.
Although you may get enough fluid from drinking soda, the problem is that many popular sodas have caffeine. According to another article published by the Mayo Clinic, caffeinated beverages can increase your urine output and dehydrate you. So, you gulp down another pop, and the cycle continues.
Try drinking a glass of water before you drink cola for your soda detox efforts. If you are still thirsty, drink just enough soda until your thirst is quenched. Eventually, you’ll find that you will crave more water and less soda.
6. Try Turmeric Tea
Herbal teas are another ideal substitute for your pop detox plan. They are naturally caffeine-free and have many possible health benefits. One exceptionally healthy herbal tea for you to consider is turmeric.
It’s almost inevitable that you will have a few headaches as you wean your body from the caffeine and sugar overload. An excerpt from a book called Herbal Medicine posted on the National Library of Medicine claims that turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory. A serving of hot or ice turmeric tea can hydrate and reduce the pain in your head.
What if You Don’t Like Plain Water?
Many people enjoy drinking pop because of the flavor and the fizz. So, a glass of flat, tasteless water won’t do if you are one of them. If you are determined to complete a soda detox, you have acceptable alternatives.
Maybe you need some flavor in anything you drink. Try adding a bit of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice to your water. You could also infuse it with other fruit. Not only will you create infused water that’s tasty and quenches your thirst, but you get an extra boost of vitamins.
Other Thirst-Quenching Substitutions
What could be more tempting than the first bubbly taste of your can of soda? When you are doing a soda detox, you can still get the sensations you crave by drinking naturally sparkling water or seltzer water. Add a bit of freshly squeezed citrus, minced ginger, a sprig of mint, or a drizzle of honey, and you won’t miss cola as much.
Final Thoughts on Soda Detox for Your Health
Although an occasional soda isn’t going to hurt you, guzzling several cans a day can lead to health problems. Pure water is your best choice, but you can always jazz it up with some fresh fruit or a little fizz. So do a soda detox. You will find that ditching the overload of sugar and caffeine can make you feel better and stay hydrated longer.