From childhood favorites to a now-trendy alternative to cola, fruit sodas are not exactly the healthy option many people think they are. Dr. Oz had reporter Tia Brown and former soda addict Dr. Mike Roizen investigate why. They found that fruit soda drinks are high in sugar and very addictive. Luckily, the two have come up with a plan to help you cut flavored soda out of your life. But first, in order to start to kick the habit, we need to understand what makes them so addictive.
Often when we get cravings, we are actually just thirsty. Because they contain carbonated water, these fruit flavored sodas satisfy that thirst.
They make us feel good
Flavored sodas are packed with sugar, which produces dopamine and other chemicals in our brains that makes us feel good.
They have caffeine
Caffeine can be an addictive substance. Allowing your body to become dependent on the caffeine found in these beverages can make it a difficult habit to quit.
However, Roizen and Brown have come up with the three-step plan to help you cut flavored soda out of your life.
Step 1: Write Down Triggers
Brown recommends that you track every soda you have for an entire week and then look at the patterns that occur when you have those sodas. Those patterns are your triggers, and once you realize those, you can find healthy alternatives. For example, if you notice that you drink a soda for an afternoon jolt, try a high protein snack instead.
Step 2: Cut Back
Dr. Roizen says you have two options to cut back your soda consumption. One option is to dilute your soda with a half soda, half sparkling water mixture. The other is to cut down by only drinking half the soda.
Step 3: Start a Healthy Movement Habit
By kicking the flavored soda habit, you are grieving the loss of something in your life. Picking up a new habit will help distract yourself from that. Brown suggests picking up a healthy habit like going for walks, runs, or trying a new exercise class to give you something to be excited about. Exercise is also a great alternative way to produce that feel-good dopamine you may have experienced from drinking a soda.