Soda, farewell …


About eight months ago I gave up soda. I went six months without drinking any (well, I might have had two), then slipped, fell, plopped, plunged, crushed.

Soda had me by the throat. I love soda. On a hot July day. With pizza. By the fire. I love it. LOVE it. Not diet soda, but the real stuff. With cherry flavored. Or another snazzy contraption. Dr. Pepper Cherry. Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray. When Vanilla Coke hit the scene five years ago, I went crazy. Soda, soda, soda, soda (My five favorites: Coke, Cherry Coke, Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray, cream, Sunkist).

The problem is, soda is, sort of literally, like dumping battery acid down your throat and into your system. It’s insanely high in sugar and remarkably fattening. Ir provides zero positives, outside of taste. According to the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, “Soft drinks have long been suspected of leading to lower calcium levels and higher phosphate levels in the blood. When phosphate levels are high and calcium levels are low, calcium is pulled out of the bones. The phosphate content of soft drinks like Coca -Cola and Pepsi is very high, and they contain virtually no calcium.” According to Dr. James Howenstine, “In an interesting experiment the sugar from one soft drink was able to damage the white blood cells’ ability to ingest and kill gonococcal bacteria for seven hours. Soft drinks also contain large quantities of phosphorus, which when excreted pulls calcium out of the bones. Heavy users of soft drinks will have osteoporosis along with their damaged arteries.”

In short, soda is liquid cigarette, without the smell and nastiness. So, beginning today, I am once again giving up soda. Hopefully this post will keep me honest.

If anyone has any good alternative beverage suggestions, I’d love to hear ’em …


14 thoughts on “Soda, farewell …”

  1. As a struggling addict myself, I have found Coke Zero a good alternative. If you want to avoid carbonation, Minute Maid Light lemonade is pretty good.

  2. Good work. I’ve been off pop (midwesterner here) about 9 years now, though I occasionally get a Coke at the movies. Drinking water by the bucket has been great for my health. I also drink a lot of blueberry-pomegranate juice as well as green tea. I don’t miss pop at all. Kinda makes me sick to see how much my coworkers drink every day.

  3. I agree with the other Jim. Minute Maid Light is quality stuff. And feel free to roll with the diet soda. After a while, you won’t notice the difference between diet and regular.

  4. I gave up regular soda 5 years ago for diet, and gave up diet the second week in January.

    I was drinking too much of it and even though it has zero calories, I felt the HFCS in it was contributing in some way to weight gain.

    So now I drink water or diet green tea (Lipton’s or Arizona). I’ll still take a sip of diet soda now and then, but it’s a sip and not a can or two.

  5. Best advice I can give you is to enjoy the taste of water. I gave up soda six weeks ago and (along with better nutrition and more consistent exercise) lost 20 pounds. In summary, the satisfaction of healthier living has done more for me in a short period of time than some high fructose corn syrup or sodium benzoate ever could.

    By the way, I highly disagree with Adam’s take that you should endulge in anti-bigotry drinks – Humble juice has a vicious after-taste.

  6. I gave up soda for a month a couple of years ago and lost weight… sort of a “30 days” thing, like Super Size Me and the subsequent show, 30 Days, which unfortunately was canceled. I think I drank a lot of Arizona Ice Tea… and water. It’s funny you wrote this post, because I thought about trying to give up soda for a month on February 1… and promptly forgot about it about an hour later. I usually drink two 12 oz. cans of Pepsi every weekday, and try not to extend that. Of course, I noticed as I’m typing this and reading the 79 comments and counting on the “I want Tim Tebow to fail” post (everyone is convinced you are a bigot, in case you were wondering) that the 20 oz. orange Gatorade I’m drinking is 130 calories (only 20 less than the Pepsi can, but 8 more ounces) and has the ubiquitous high-fructose corn syrup. So I would rule out Gatorade, Jeff… Maybe flavored water, just without sugar…

  7. I’ve been soda-free since ’99. For alternatives, unsweetened hot or iced tea – it’s an acquired taste, but there’s zero to minimal calories (if there’s some lemon or something in it), anti-oxidants, and more flavor than water (though that’s also excellent to drink). Beer in moderation also has some heart-healthy qualities, but I’m not sure what they specifically are.

    Diet sodas are still loaded w/ chemicals, and sweetened iced teas are still loaded w/ sugar.

    Good luck staying on the wagon.

  8. Oh, and what is it about any Coke that comes in a black tin?

    I swear no one drank Coke Zero at first when it was put in white tins.

    Wish we had Cherry Coke in Canada. Can’t find it up here.

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