In Singapore, we consume an average of 12 teaspoons of sugar daily, which is double the amount recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
But did you know that more than half of our sugar intake comes from carbonated sugary drinks?
Every time you pick up a can of sugary soft drink, you consume nearly 34 grams of sugar. We know the health risks of sugar, but then why can't we stop drinking soda?
One of the main reasons why it is nearly impossible is because sugary sodas are highly addictive.
Read on to find out what exactly makes these canned drinks so addictive and how to overcome them!
The Sugar Factor
For example, an average can of coca cola has 39 grams of added sugar, equivalent to about ten teaspoons of sugar. This number exceeds the amount we should consume in an entire day.
Excessive soda consumption leads to chronic health conditions such as weight gain and diabetes, but it is also addictive.
When we drink soda, the sugary contents activate the reward centres in our brain, leaving the brain wanting more, with some experts calling this reaction a sugar addiction.
Before you know it, you will be grabbing for your second or third can soon after you finish the first one.
The Caffeine Kick
Another attractive quality that draws people to soda is caffeine. Like other addictive substances such as alcohol and drugs, caffeine also floods the brain with more rewarding chemicals.
The sugar in soft drinks coupled with caffeine (such as energy drinks and certain sports drinks) just seems like a way to worsen soda cravings.
When you consume caffeinated sodas over time, your body relies on the caffeine inside of the drinks to increase your attentiveness, alertness and energy.
Hence, you might even experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and poor concentration when you do not have it.
Another factor that helps soft drinks lure people in is the fizz. Just like magic, carbonation instantly makes any beverage more addictive.
Not only does the fizz give you the tingling sensations on your tongue, but the carbonation also provides a small amount of acidity to contrast the added sugars, intensifying the euphoric reward feeling.
Is it better to drink diet sodas or regular soda?
Contrary to popular belief, drinking diet soda is equally harmful as conventional soft drinks.
Diet sodas are considered 'sugar-free' as they use artificial sugar substitutes that cannot be absorbed into your body, giving the illusion that it is healthier.
But just like regular sugar, artificial sweeteners have their addictive characteristics.
They trigger the taste receptors that register the sweetness to expect sugar, but that reward never comes. Unsatisfied, the brain craves sugar more intensely, contributing to the vicious cycle of soda addiction.
How to know if you have a soda addiction?
Several symptoms that show you have a soda addiction:
Persistent cravings for soda
Lack of control over your soda intake
Developed a resistance to soda
You may also be experiencing withdrawal symptoms, which can affect your mental health (increased irritability, difficulty focusing) or manifest as physical symptoms, such as headaches and tremors.
What are the effects of soda addiction?
Like alcoholism and drug addiction, excessive soda intake can cause several serious health consequences:
High blood pressure
Find out more about the health hazards of soda addiction. [links to the other article]
Tips for Kicking the Soda Habit
Once your soda addiction has formed, it can be hard to reverse. However, never try to quit your sugar addiction cold turkey.
Going from 100 to 0 is hard to sustain, especially if you face withdrawal symptoms or intense cravings. Many who quit drinking soda suddenly often relapse after a few days, and the feeling of failure and frustration often derail their attempts, landing them back at square one.
Remember that the best way to kick soda addiction is by forming habits you will actually do in your life.
For example, if you find reducing the number of canned drinks too intimidating, you can start by diluting sugar-sweetened beverages with plain sparkling water.
As you reduce the amount of sugar you consume in one sitting, the sugar cravings will gradually decrease.
Once you feel more confident in your journey, gradually decrease your soda intake by switching a glass of regular soda with healthier soda alternatives.
We have several exciting recipes as a healthier alternative to soft drinks. We're confident you'll be reaching for these SodaStream drinks in place of your sugar-sweetened beverages in no time!
Revolutionise drinking soda in just 3 seconds from the comforts of your home with Sodastream!
So what can you do now when craving your favourite soft drink? The secret is to find a healthier alternative you love.
Of course, water is the best option for your health, but we know plain water can get boring. As we mentioned earlier, the key to beating soda addiction is to form habits you want to adopt in your daily life.
The key to your goals is SodaStream.
With our sparkling water makers, you can get carbonated water in just 3 seconds - easier than heading to the store and getting a canned drink!
More than just providing convenience, getting a SodaStream machine will be a life-transforming decision for the better.
Dress up that premium, homemade bottle of plain sparkling water with our drink syrups!
You will be spoilt for choice with the wide variety of flavours that best suit your cravings - without the artificial sweeteners and colourings.
In addition to the delicious taste, our mixes only have 1/3 the sugar of store-bought canned drinks while serving as a good source of vitamins B3, B6, D and E.
A healthy, hydrated lifestyle free from soda addiction will come easy with SodaStream. We are the best investment to achieve your lifestyle goals.