Raise your hand if you have a soda within arms reach (that's Pop to you northerners)? I used to be right there with you. I was drinking a 2 liter about every 2 days along with hitting up drink machines through the day. I was a Pepsi-aholic. I drank Pepsi for the better part of my life which was the greater part of my nearly 37 years on the planet. That's a LOT of soda. I remembered in the 80's that Pepsi had a very distinct difference in flavor and it wasn't until the Throwbacks came out did I come to understand the difference in sugars. I won't lie. I loved the taste and the carbonation and I still have the urge to grab one every once in a while but for the most part my addiction is curbed. Addiction. Yeah that's exactly what it is and studies are now showing that sugar has a higher addiction rate than cocaine (at least according to some rats that the tests were run on).
I won't be one of those ex-people that tells you that it's a bad habit and you need to quit but I will expose the potential harm, why I stopped, and what exactly you're consuming.
I honestly gave up on sodas due to High Fructose Corn Syrup only. I was ok with drinking the Pepsi Throwbacks if I could find them or anything else that was 'natural' sugar. Anything else and I would not drink it. HFCS is known to cause fatty liver issues and I was on the path of removing potentially harmful things from my diet, especially my liver after going through two Accutaine protocols and feeling the effects of a damaged liver. Not to mention I consumed a lot of beer which made matters worse (and my hangovers). The more I read about HFCS, the more I despised it's use and the more I discovered that the corn industry had infiltrated nearly every product on the shelf, well beyond soda. HFCS was in everything and I felt violated. I didn't want to drink a corn by-product! Even so, I felt vilified enough to bash others drinking diet sodas as an alternative to sugar or HFCS. We were both wrong but I was less wrong to a certain extent.
Aspartame (Nutrasweet) was originally engineered as a pesticide but some joker scientist decided to taste his creation and an alt-sweetener was born. Aspartame is a well documented excitotoxin. Hmm how's that excitotoxin tasting? An excitoxin according to Wiki is a pathological process by which nerve cells are damaged and killed by excessive stimulation. Recently in an 11 year study at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, strong evidence was found in a correlation between aspartame and degeneration of kidney function. So consider that with every sip. Ahh but it has zero calories though, right? So, by reasoning, any chemical with zero calories must ok for one watching weight. Wrong! Geared with my minimal knowledge at the time I leveled my vitriol on the diet soda drinkers not even considering what I was doing to myself with refined sugars.
As it turns out all of these refined sweeteners, chemical or not are terrible on the system. Spiking the insulin system is probably the biggest issue which tosses one hormone out of balance and then the other hormones tumble trying to maintain order. You then have a metabolic disaster on your hands without even knowing it. So pick up the soda can and read, actually read the ingredients. You'll find a bunch of nice chemical compounds in there and in some sodas even a vegetable oil. Ask yourself if you would consume any one of those things individually. If not, then hang up those sodas and try something else like tea or something that your body know how to handle. Water. But, watch that bottled water, even some of thse have chemicals for TASTE! Yes, everything is tampered with these days.
So I've blasted apart the standards sodas. What about energy drinks that purport vitamins and minerals and a boost of energy? Again, I was right there with you. With my previous carb heavy diet a solid energy drink for the evening or better yet a JagerBomb for a party night and I would be good to go. Little did I know I was doing a lot of harm. So, not only is insulin spiking to pick me up from my carb crash but I was also venturing into destroying my cortisol levels. Revving myself up for late nights, my circadian rhythm was trashed, and thus my adrenals were toast. Sleep would come from pure exhaustion more so than restful sleep and I was adding another layer of garbage to my system. These things are absolutely loaded with sugar and recent reports are showing a massive uptick of ER visits from people consuming energy beverages.
From 2007 to 2011, the government estimates the number of emergency room visits involving the neon-labeled beverages shot up from about 10,000 to more than 20,000. Most of those cases involved teens or young adults, according to a survey of the nation's hospitals released late last week by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. -Asociated Press
To dispel the myth of the minerals and vitamins often advertised with some energy drinks, most of them are not bioavailable. Just like beer, you're only renting that stuff for a little while and then it's down the toilet. Sure you feel good for a little while but then you crash and you need more. That's sugar and nothing else. The better way to do this of course is to fix your hormonal imbalances and give your body longer burning fuel sources.
Sodas and energy drinks are pretty close to liquid poison and while not always visibly harmful, they can be deadly in the long run. Ditch them in favor of water and teas. Just getting rid of these in your diet alone will help tremendously. Take it from someone that used to consume copious amounts.