Are you drinking enough water? It has been found that most Americans, roughly 75% of us, are chronically dehydrated. There are many reasons why that is alarming. Dehydration contributes to a host of human ailments. What might interest you to know is that dehydration lowers our metabolism. Lowered metabolism leads to weight gain and lethargy. So, if you are tired, it could mean that you are actually dehydrated. Dehydration can also lead to back and joint pain, depletion in short-term memory, and loss of focus.
Most Americans though, reach for a soda, not water. So what’s the huge problem? Soda causes dehydration!! The salts, acids and other chemicals in soda only serve to deplete your body, not hydrate it.
Not compelling enough? How about this…. There are many chemicals in coke, which make it acidic to the body. One of the most alarming ingredients is phosphoric acid, which can dissolve a nail in about 4 days. Soda is so acidic in fact, that it literately leaches calcium from the bones and is a leading contributor to the rise in osteoporosis.
Most experts agree that sodas are contributing to our obesity epidemic. Thirst can be masked as hunger. When you are thirsty and reach for a soda, instead of water, that causes even more dehydration. Eventually, you will have enough hunger and might that you might be drawn to eat. There was another study done (at the University of Washington) on thirst and they gave participants with hunger pangs a glass of water. Believe it or not, in 100% of the cases, the pangs went away. There was no need for food. The hunger pangs were just thirst in disguise.
If you are a soda drinker, you might already be aware of some physical symptoms that are a result of the soda. Tooth decay, cravings, intense hunger, and lethargy are only a part of the story. You will feel better and relieve your symptoms if you can reduce or get off the “soda train” completely.
Here are some ways to stop drinking soda.
1. Drink a glass of water. If you are craving soda, you could just be dehydrated. Give your body what it actually needs by drinking a glass of water.
2. Always have a healthy beverage at hand. If you want something to drink, and the only thing available is soda, you are setting yourself up for failure. Have plenty of teas and juices on hand to reduce the impulse of grabbing for the easy soda.
3. Try kombucha. Kombucha is a fizzy, tasty drink that has the tang and bite of a soda. Kombucha also comes in many flavors, so even the novice is sure to find a kind they like. Having a half or whole bottle of kombucha when the cravings hit is a great substitute.
4. Have a selection of great teas on hand. There are several organic and wonderful tea companies that offer a beautiful selection. Carrying a few bags of tea in ones pocket or purse gives a more instant gratification and lessens a person chance of straying.
5. Step down approach. Some might need to slowly “come off” of sodas rather then not have them at all. If this is you, decide on an amount that is reasonable and gently back off from that amount every other day. Add more ice, drink smaller amounts at a time and allow the body to slowly catch up to not having the soda anymore.
6. Cold turkey. Not a sip will pass your lips! Decide on a day and just do it! Decide not to have soda anymore by replacing the urge with teas, kombucha lemonade and other equally tasty beverages.
7. Know the facts. Sometimes knowing more about the effect a substance has on the body is more compelling then the idea that it is just “unhealthy.” Learn more about how detrimental sodas are and how harsh they are on the body. Knowing how much harm they do is sometimes all you need to stop using something that is toxic.
8. Take it seriously. Rather then just make this a whim of the day. Set your mind to stopping. Treating this as an addiction and making a firm decision to stop will take you far.
9. Build awareness. If you don’t know, work on figuring out when you want soda the most. Also, try to link certain meals to soda. Are there certain foods that automatically get your mind to think about sodas? An example of that would be wanting soda with a slice of pizza. Once you pinpoint that, try to work backwards and have a beverage built in so that you don’t automatically go for the soda. Decide ahead of time to have an iced tea, club soda with lemon or something else that floats your boat. Deciding ahead of time can sometimes help you over the hump of only wanting a soda “some of the time.”
10. Don’t get discouraged. Quit as many times as you need to. If you slip, don’t give up. Forgive yourself and try again. It might take a few times of trying before one can put away the soda for good.