Why I (Finally) Stopped Drinking Soda
I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions. When you think about it, the start of a new year is just another day. As such, I used my return to campus for the spring semester as my “new year” resolution. I decided, after years of enjoying the fizzy, sugary, magicalness that is soda, that I would stop drinking it for the foreseeable future.
Every 12 ounces of Pepsi, since we’re a Pepsi school, contains 41 grams of sugar. Those bottles they sell everywhere around campus? They’re 20 ounces and have 69 grams of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends between 100 and 150 grams of added sugars, or sugars that aren’t naturally occurring like those from fruits, per day. This means that each time you grab a bottle of Pepsi from Jazzman’s, you are drinking more than half of your daily added sugar intake.
Now, say you are like me. I do not like regular Pepsi. If they have it, I would go for a Cherry Pepsi. That beverage has 70 grams of added sugar. In 20 oz. A Dr. Pepper? 64 grams in a 20 oz. bottle.
Other foods also have added sugars in them, whether you think they do or not. Thus, my daily intake probably far exceeded the American Heart Association’s recommended allotment for each day that I had both food and a soda. And while I think I am leading a reasonably healthy life, knowing that I was consuming so much sugar really put a damper on my enjoyment. But that wasn’t the only factor to stop my soda consumption.
My absolute least favorite soda is Coca-Cola. Not for the taste, which is mediocre, but for the feeling in my mouth each time I drink it: I feel the white leaving my smile; I feel rot begin to set. Even Snapchat filters can’t hide the growing yellow after a dark soda. It is common knowledge that dark beverages stain teeth faster than, say, water. Just think about a white coffee mug that is used every day. Those rings inside? That stain that won’t wash out? That could be on your smile. I never thought about what was happening to my teeth unless I was drinking a Coke, but color change and rot can occur with any dark soda. This was the second of three factors that influenced my decision.
The final trigger was the realization of how I was consuming soda. I wasn’t particularly enjoying what I was drinking, I just knew that I enjoyed soda and Cherry Pepsi tasted better than regular Pepsi. I would sit at my desk and want something to do with my hands, a moment’s break from homework or responsibility where I could consume and not think about anything. Well, I can do that with water. Why waste the added sugar, teeth staining and money on something that a reusable container and a BRITA can give me?
Honestly,, I’m not sure that my life is better or about the same since I abandoned soda. I know that I occasionally crave a good Dr. Pepper. I know that I don’t need it. I also know that Naked Juice is good and there is no added sugar, so I can just have that if water isn’t cutting it.