We know what it feels like to crave a quick caffeinated "pick me up" and often that means a soda. But we also know why giving up soda is incredibly important to your physical and mental health. This week the Be Better is to give up soda. If you consider yourself a soda drinker and eliminating soda feels impossible, try to reduce your soda intake. If you do not drink soda, focus on the healthier alternatives you drink instead. Some drinks are better then others.
You’re probably asking yourself, “Exactly how bad is soda, and why should I give up all soft drinks?” Here are a few key, health-related reasons why eliminating soda is vital.
First, soda is addictive. The caffeine in soda is what makes it addictive, as caffeine is a drug that leaves us wanting more. Also, a glass of soda is packed with calories. According to Empowher, an average can of soda contains 150-200 calories. Again, this is for a single can of empty calories, devoid of nutrition and full of processed sugar.
Soda can weaken your bones. Caffeine and phosphoric acid can destroy the calcium in our bones. Caffeine also increases your need to urinate, so your body doesn’t have adequate time to absorb the healthy nutrients in your food before they are eliminated.
Here’s another reason to give up soda: Have you ever noticed that your thirst isn’t gone after you drink a bottle of soda? Soda leads to dehydration. And the sodium in soda can make us even thirstier. Remember: soft drinks are no replacement for water.
We all want healthy hearts and strong teeth, and soda is bad for both. The acids in soda change the pH level in our mouths, causing decay. Simultaneously, the sugar in soft drinks can lead to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other cardiac health ramifications according to NPR. So a glass of processed sugar really doesn’t seem worth it.
Another reason we should say no to soda is because most soda cans contain BPA, an epoxy resin used to keep the acids in soda from reacting with the metal. BPA exposure has been linked to obesity, infertility, and even some cancers. Researchers are also concerned that BPA can interfere with reproductive hormones.
You may be asking yourself, “What should I drink instead of soda?” Here is a list of healthier alternatives:
1. Water. This is always the best option. (preferably from an eco-friendly, reusable water bottle). 2. Green tea 3. Homemade lemonade 4. Iced tea 5. Vegetable juice 6. Coffee (in moderation) 7. Freshly squeezed fruit juices or click here for 20 Healthy Alternatives to Soda
This week’s Be Better challenge is to give soda the boot. Try a healthier alternative, such as water or tea, and take a picture of it using the #bebebetter52 hashtag.
Start this week and Be Better. I can’t wait to see all the healthy alternatives you substitute for soda this week.