As most of our readers know I recently took a 30-Day Caffeine Challenge. I cut caffeine out of my diet for an entire 30 days. Why? you ask?, well soda has been a ‘hang-up’ for me for many years. I tend to look to it as an outlet, or a normal food, instead of a sometimes treat. I think the biggest thing is watching my 7-year-old tell me he needs to brush his teeth extra when he drinks soda and he just doesn’t want to so why drink it?! What am I teaching my children if I constantly reach for it instead of water, or milk or juice?! I’m tired of using it as a crutch & quite honestly it just doesn’t do anything for me but help me retain fluid and make me look & feel unhealthy. My life is an example not to just my own children but the children I teach and the people I come in contact with everyday. I want to strive to be a better example.
I’m not going to lie this was not an easy thing for me to take on, as a matter of fact, the first week was terrible. I suffered withdraw headaches but it wasn’t something I couldn’t lessen the pain with regular over the counter medications. After week two the headaches had subsided but the desire was still there. After four weeks, the desire is there but not as much as week two. My husband was nice enough to buy me these little half cans of coke if I decided that I might want some and even put a few in the fridge and he made sure my favorite coffee & tea were also in the house. Upon waking up this morning he asked me, “would you like a cup of coffee?” knowing that today marked the end of my 30 days and I really didn’t want coffee, I opted for apple cider instead. I said “I just really wasn’t craving it like I thought I would.” Yes, I will drink caffeine and soda again at some point, however I want it to be a ‘sometimes’ food, I really want it to be a treat & I want my children to see that.
Surprisingly during this time period I kept cups and jars of water around to be constantly drinking and my 3-year-old whom has NEVER wanted water a day in his life, actually has been asking for water instead of milk and juice. I’m amazed at how the things we do for ourselves reflect in the people whom are the closest to us. It’s true testament to the example that I’m choosing to live.
I decided with this post I would give you some things to think about the next time you reach for a drink in the gas station cooler.
Soda, caffeine free or not have a lot of damaging effects to more than one part of your body. Which I guess I never realized until a few years ago when I went through a time period that I was craving milk and couldn’t get enough of it, I was drinking almost a gallon of milk a day. I asked my regular doctor about the increased craving, worried that something was wrong with me. She gave me some leads and I did some research on my own. I found that soda contains phosphoric acid, high levels of phosphoric acid in your diet can be responsible for the break down of the bones and can cause early osteoporosis. Sadly enough when you use the bathroom your body expels calcium along with the acid. At the time of my milk craving I had been drinking a TON of soda and no water. I was urinating out every bit of calcium I was taking in and the craving was my body telling me to slow down or I was going to be in a bad way. Luckily after finding this out I stopped with the soda, not completely, but started drinking a whole, vitamin D milk to help fortify my bones. Thankful I listened to my body because only a month later I was thrown from a horse, being thrown could have caused a lot of physical problems for me. However, I managed to limp away and continue to ride despite the bruise I acquired from the fence post I was thrown into. Since then I have tried very hard to continue to listen to my body.
Soda increases your blood sugar level. When you eat your body stores sugar, and other vitamins to help you continue to live, that’s why you can fast and go long periods of time without eating. Which is why dietitians tell you to eat every 2-4 hours so that your body will learn to constantly burn off these stored items. Within 20 minutes of drinking a soda you blood sugar level will spike immensely, your body releases an insulin burst to compensate for this spike, when this happens the liver responds by taking the sugar your body has stored & immediately turns it to fat. 40 minutes later the caffeine has absorbed into your system & as a result your blood pressure rises and your liver dumps more sugar into your blood stream, along with this the receptors in your brain are now blocked, preventing drowsiness. Within 45 minutes you are creating a high within your body much in the same way your body would react to heroin. So while creating a self-induced high and addiction, you are creating fat and with each soda you drink you are increasing your risk of obesity by 1.6 times, obesity can lead to many other problems such as heart disease and has been linked to colon and breast cancer as well as bladder problems that require surgery.
I will not go into all the other problems soda can cause but I will list them here and you can read on your own:
– It can cause tooth decay as the sugar & acid deplete the enamel on your teeth.
– The sugar content has been known to be linked to cause problems with heart disease & diabetes.
– The containers that the soda come in can contain BPA a product which can cause early stages of puberty and reproductive issues.
– Sodium benzoate is a preservative used in soda that can cause problems with eczema, urinary track problems as well as asthma.
– Phosphoric acid can also cause kidney stones and renal problems as well as breaking down the calcium in your bones.
– Certain soda products contain products that are lethal to the body such as BVO & can also contain odd products used in shoe polish and flame retardant, all things we don’t need to be consuming for obvious reasons.
Read more here: How Soda impacts your life. How bad is Mountain Dew for you?
With saying that about soda I will say this about caffeine specifically, it is not the problem with regard to soda. Caffeine is a bitter-tasting chemical that has same qualities of a mild stimulant. While it is proven to be really good for your short-term memory it wreaks havoc on your long-term memory blocking receptors to your brain that allow you to remember as well as having a euphoric response when dealing with stress much like a drug high. Caffeine by itself has no link to heart disease or cancer as well as other physical problems brought up about soda. While it can increase your body’s physical endurance by creating a stimulated high it is not recommended for long-term use. Experts would suggest no more than 2 cups of coffee a day or not at all. There are about 15 top effects that coffee or tea have on your body, some are good and some are mildly bad but not like soda. You can read more about them here: Top 15 effects that coffee has on your health.
I will finish up this post by saying I made it 30 days! You can do it to!! Next time you reach for a soda at the gas station cooler, think about the damaging effects soda carries and maybe opt for tea or coffee. It really would be the lesser of two evils at this point.