I've never been one to drink a lot of soda. In fact, I remember when I was 12, I decided to never drink soda again. That was before I even knew anything about nutrition or had any interest in the subject. It must have been a sign that I would one day become passionate about it. I can't remember why I made the decision, but I just know that since 12, I haven't touched a soda. I don't miss it, and my body certainly doesn't miss it either.
The marketing teams of soda companies are brilliant. They come out with commercials year after year, season after season, that are so convincing. Even I can't help but look away. Luckily, I can see right through them, but for the millions of other people that are moved by them, it's not so easy.
I had a conversation today with a high school girl who told me she drank a lot of Coca-Cola and that she knew it was bad, but she just loved it so much. I explained to her that it is very addictive, however, it is not impossible to wean yourself off of it. As I explain to many people, the human taste buds can change every 14 days. So, you have the ability to retrain your tastebuds and in effect, change your tastes. Soda is nothing but various forms of corn in highly chemically processed forms. It stains your teeth, creates an acidic condition in your body that leaches calcium from your bones, and is really just all around a bad choice. But why do we still drink it?
First, they have excellent marketing campaigns as I mentioned. With $3.2 billion spent on marketing carbonated beverages in 2006, it's no surprise they are brilliant. Nearly half a billion of that is targeted to kids ages 2-17. Kids are getting hooked on this from the moment they can say their first words. Second, and going along hand in hand with the first, they have A-list celebrities promoting their products. This kind of promotion goes a long way. Kids especially look up to their idols. Well, if Beyonce and Sofia Vergara can look sexy and cool drinking this, so can I! Third, sugary drinks are highly addictive. Sugar has been shown to light up the brain on an MRI like cocaine and heroine do. In fact, Coca-Cola used to contain cocaine. Cocaine only became illegal in 1914, 11 years after Coca-Cola's change. And let me tell you, it made them big bucks. People got addicted to it, no surprise. A typical 24-ounce soda contains about 240 empty calories (of no nutritional value) and 15-18 teaspoons of sugar. It becomes an addiction, and fast.
Soda causes our blood sugar to spike immediately upon ingesting. Insulin levels rise, and all of that excess sugar is converted into fat in the liver. It also creates an acidic condition in our body which causes calcium from our bones to be released through urine. Not only that, but it stains teeth very easily and promotes cavities. If that's not enough, coca-cola is even used to clean car batteries, that's how strong the acid is. So, imagine what it does inside your body!
The quicker you can get yourself off of sugary drinks, the better. I always recommend adding some citrus to your water. Try squeezing a piece of fresh lemon and fresh lime in your water next time, and adding fresh herbs like basil or mint. This makes for a really refreshing treat that's good for you too. You can even add cucumbers, raspberries, or any fresh fruits/veggies your heart desires. You'll be better off in the long run, and your body will thank you for it too.