Kicking My Addiction To Diet Soda

On my way to my 11 o’ clock class, I buy a can of Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper from the coffee kiosk. I go to lunch at noon, where I drink two sometimes three glasses of Coke Zero. Before the clock strikes one, I've already had five servings of diet soda. Hello, I'm Lauren and I am a diet soda addict.

I've been slugging Diet Cokes like this since I was in the 7th grade. Before, I would have only a glass or two of regular soda with my dinner. Once I discovered diet soda, calorie and sugar free, I was hooked.

I loved that I could drink as much as possible and not worry about the exorbitant amount of calories or the sugar destroying my teeth. Before I knew it, I began to depend on diet soda. Not only did I need the caffeine, I was straight up addicted to the taste. It's bubbly and refreshing. There are few things that compare to an ice-cold cola.

Well I've come to realize I can't keep living my life dominated by a fizzy beverage. I have more will power than to succumb to a Coke. There are so many downsides to drinking soda, both regular and diet.

Soda is useless for your body. There are absolutely no nutrients or vitamins in soda. It is important for young women to get enough vitamins to ensure proper development. It is far better to reach for juices or low fat milk.

The acidity of soda causes damage to bones and teeth. Studies have shown that soda erodes the tooth enamel, which makes teeth weaker and vulnerable to tooth decay. Soda is so acidic that some scientists attribute it to weakened bones and even osteoporosis.

Soda adds stress to your kidneys and liver. Dumping soda in to your body forces your kidneys to work overtime to filter out the chemicals and highly refined sugars.

Artificial sweeteners are bad news. Aspartame has been known to cause: hair loss, nausea, weight gain, anxiety, reproductive disorders, insomnia, migraines, memory loss and bloating.

Dehydration kicks in. If you're chugging diet soda all day long, chances are you are not getting enough water. In addition to not drinking enough water, caffeine and artificial sweeteners act as a diuretic, which means you end up losing even more water.

Luckily, there are plenty of tasty alternatives to soda!

  • Water - It's recommended to drink about 64 ounces of water a day (or about two Nalgene bottles!) Water is the perfect beverage. It is the best thing you can take in. Get yourself a cute bottle to embrace a great habit.
  • Juice - Reach for 100% juice, not juice beverages that are also loaded with sweeteners. Juice satisfies a sweet craving and provides you with vitamins.
  • Tea - There are so many different teas to try. You'll never get bored of them. Try herbal teas for a sweet tooth craving. My favorite is peach. Making your own iced tea is super easy. Tea is also loaded with antioxidants that can fight cancer-causing cells and prevent aging.
  • Powder Drink Mixes - I am a huge fan of Emergen-c. With several flavors to choose from, you'll find at least one yummy one. I love raspberry and black cherry. This mega dose of vitamin c will keep your body health and your skin glowing.
  • Flavored Sparkling Water -If carbonation doesn't irritate your digestive tract, then pick some up. It is both inexpensive and satisfies my fizzy drink addiction.

I'm on my way to fixing my soda addiction. I can't say that it will be easy. I can expect headaches, tiredness and changes in mood, but I know the health benefits will be worth it.

Sources: Dental Gentle Care, Web MD, Web MD, Sweet Poison, LiveStrong
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