So I’ve written a couple of times about soda, and it being a formidable enemy to the fitness/weight-loss habits of pretty much anyone, ever. And that still remains true—all of those studies I linked in those articles aren’t going away, and aren’t disappearing anytime in the near future.
The fact remains that soda is loaded with sugar, and can largely contribute to whether you’re tipping that scale the wrong direction or not.
But there is an alternative—one I feel like is forgotten and mostly overlooked, simply because it’s a bit different, unpopular and painfully obvious to start trying.
Carbonated (Sparkling) Water.
Why so addicted to pop?
Before we dive in, let’s take a serious look at the primary question at hand: why do we drink so much pop to begin with? There are a number of factors as to why it’s evolved into a habit that’s so hard to kick, but I’m only going to name the three most obvious for the sake of brevity and honesty.
If you walk into any convenience store or grocery, you’re guaranteed to find a shocking revelation in the fridge or aisle: soda costs less than brand name, bottled water. If that sounds odd to you it should. I’ve seen deals that have huge 2 liter bottles of Coca-Cola for less than a dollar while a simple 20-ounce bottle of water costs 1.79. It makes sense then that we’re conditioned, market wise, to want to drink the soda—it’s way cheaper and saves green in our wallets (at the cost of our health if we overdrink).
Its got loads of caffeine
First, here is some news you might want to know: according to an article written by leading professionals on NCBI, caffeine is considered by some health experts and organizations as a drug, and the WHO (World Health Organization) and some healthcare professionals recognize caffeine dependence as a clinical disorder! That’s right—caffeine, to many who study this kind of stuff as a profession, is considered a real drug and a real health disorder.
The reason why is interesting. Basically—as the same article continues to explain—caffeine acts as an antagonist at adenosine receptors and…okay. Sorry, the simple version after reading is this: caffeine makes a release of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is the same pleasure release that you get when you do amphetamines and cocaine. So naturally, it can get addictive because it makes you feel happy.
It’s literally everywhere
You’re driving to your next destination and need to stop at a rest stop. Soda machine. You’re going to your favorite restaurant and look at the beverages menu. Soda. You walk into your local gym and, somewhat hypocritically what are they selling? Soda (that’s a bad gym, by the way, shame).
Even when you walk down the street in your big, crowded city, you see soda advertisements from Pepsi, Coca-Cola and the like everywhere. There’s no escaping it; marketing has bombarded you with messages to drink their sugary nectar since you were a child—and that makes you think about drinking it as a standard beverage. Just as the advertisements suggest: why drink something else when it’s so easily accessible and tastes so good?
The better alternative: sparkling water
“But Michael, sparkling water is dumb and no one drinks it,” and “You only drink sparkling water for fancy parties,” and, “The only thing that should be sparkling is wine,” I hear you all saying. I know, I know—the concept of sparkling water to a surprisingly large amount of people is odd. Carbonated water? Why would you do that?
Hear me out for a second. What is the one thing, physically, that adds to that feel good experience of drinking pop? The fizz. The burning sensation of that cool drink going down your throat, but it feels kind of painful yet oh so good. You know the one. But where does that actually come from, that feeling? You guessed it.
And contrary to what you might think because its water, carbonated water indeed does have that same burning feeling when you drink it. And it’s still super addictive, might I add…I would know from experience. Think about the health benefits then, of drinking sparkling water!
You still get all the necessary hydration. You aren’t taking in loads of unnecessary sugars (carbs) to immediately turn into fat. You still feel like you’ve finally quenched your thirst, and you won’t have that nasty caffeine crash after a couple hours like you would with soda.
Carbonated, sparkling water. The next time you visit your local grocery store, try picking up a liter or two and dropping it in your cart if you want to have those great cheats to lose the fat.
You might be surprised how much you actually enjoy it.
Written by: Michael “Bboy Roach1” Roach
 Caffeine Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review and Research Agenda. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3777290/