A lot of people suffer from what we nowadays call “Cola addiction”, although few people like to admit that this really is an addiction.
Don’t fool yourself, if you stopped drinking water and drink 1-2 liters or more of Cola drinks each day, if this is the only drink you see in the menu when eating out or if drinking 1-2 glasses of Cola seems a normal thing to do each morning (sometimes this been the only breakfast you have), it’s most likely that you suffer from Cola addiction.
In order to figure out a way to get rid of Cola addiction we observed and interviewed several heavy drinkers of Cola drinks. Here are some tips that can help you get rid of this problem:
1. Always think before you act
For a lot of heavy drinkers, drinking Cola drinks has become a strong behavior that is often done without too much thought. When you feel like drinking a glass of Cola stop and think: “What do I really want…Am I thirsty or I just want something sweet for my sugar craving?” We found out that this is a very powerful question that can determine you to search for another solution instead of going, like always, for that cold glass of Cola drink.
We made an quick experiment. We asked a heavy drinker of Cola to always think of this 2 alternative (water + a small piece of chocolate) when feeling the need for a glass of Cola. And surprise, it worked! After drinking a glass of water and eating that small piece of chocolate, he didn’t feel the Cola craving any more. And this carried on for day, not just one time.
Just think for a seconds, what is better: a glass of Cola drink or a glass of water + a piece of chocolate for example (it doesn’t have to be chocolate, but this is what worked in our quick experiment).
2. Weight loss – think of the calories count
Referring to our quick Cola addiction experiment, you might think “Wait, but chocolate also has sugar and a lot of calories“. Right, but let’s make a quick calculation…so, we have a glass of water 0 calories + a small piece of chocolate about 100 calories (a normal bar has about 500-600 calories, if we eat about 2 pieces that’s about 20% of the whole bar) as compared to a glass of Cola drink which normally has about 150 calories (about 50 calories per 100 ml * 300 ml per glass = 150 calories).
If you are on a diet, you should definitely stop drinking Cola drinks, otherwise your diet will have no effect. There’s no point in eating only vegetables or salads if you are drinking such products. You can consider Cola addiction the opposite of dieting.
“What about artificial sweeteners?” you might ask. Well, you should know that research has proven that for some people, using artificial sweeteners can actually cause weight gain, so no help there. Also, some claim that artificial sweeteners can cause cancer (especially bladder cancer).
3. Consider the effects Cola addiction has on your health
Another motivational factor that can help you fight Cola addiction is to consider the health effects. I can not stress enough the importance of drinking water for our health. Some of the major health benefits of water are: moisture for the skin, prevents the aging process, prevents headaches and back pains, reduces infections, prevents hypertension, prevents bad breath etc. Also, if we take chocolate for example (especially dark chocolate), this product also has a lot of health benefits like: speeds-up the metabolism, has some anti-aging proprieties, is considered an aphrodisiac, boost of energy for the body etc.
If we think of Cola drinks, can we really find a health benefit that can convince us to drink it…I think not. Before you drink a glass, think of all the chemicals that are added in the drink and just think that all those chemicals will quickly hit your liver after you drink it. Researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center claim that drinkers of soft drinks (Cola drinks included) are 43% more likely to have strokes, vascular diseases and heart attacks. Also, such drinks can cause severe liver diseases similar to those caused by chronic alcoholism.
Here’s what happens after you drink just a glass of Cola drink:
In the first 5-10 minutes a huge quantity of sugar arrives in the stomach (just one glass of Cola drink has the daily recommended quantity of sugar). Some of the chemicals included, like phosphoric acid, cuts down the strong sweet taste of sugar so that you don’t feel the taste at maximum intensity and you don’t throw-up.
After about 20 minutes, the sugar level in your blood increases substantially, causing the body to release insulin hormone. This reduces the sugar level in the blood. In order to reduce the sugar level, the body starts to transform sugar in fat.
After 20-40 minutes, the caffeine starts to kick-in. Your blood pressure increases, pupils are dilated and your liver starts to release more sugar in the blood. The adenosine receptors in your brain are blocked for in order to prevent sleepiness. The body accelerates the production of dopamine. This is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers – acting similar to a drug.
After 60 minutes the metabolism of minerals like phosphoric acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc is accelerated at intestine level. Combining this effect with the sugar level and the caffeine in your body, you will feel the need to pee. All the water and minerals will be eliminated and you will quickly feel thirsty again.
So, you can see that all ingredients are very well configured in order to determine you to drink more.
4. Be aware of the places and moments connected to Cola drinks consumption
There are a lot of places and moments that can easily be connected to Cola drinks consumption. One of the most strong one is when or after eating. You will think “after such a good lunch or dinner I need a glass of Cola drink!”. My answer is: “Do you?” Again, stop and think. Maybe when eating such a good lunch or dinner you just want to feel the real good taste of food. What’s the point of adding sugar to it? If you want something sweet, just order a desert.
Here’s a great video that underlines the importance of drinking water when eating, especially when eating out in order to help with your weight loss strategy: 12 Great Tips to Help You Lose Weight While Eating Out!
Another very tempting moment is when you go out. Avoid as much as you can any connection with Cola drinks to escape Cola addiction. So, no cocktails using Cola drinks, avoid standing near people drinking it etc. You can actually tell all your friend that you are trying to get rid of this bad Cola addiction. When you go out with them, they can help you stay motivated and keep you away from temptations.
Another moment when you might feel Cola addiction is in the morning when you wake up and feel tired. Instead of drinking a glass or two of Cola drink, just have a coffee or cappuccino.
5. No Cola drinks in the house
Empty your fridge of Cola drinks. Also, tell everybody in the house to stop bringing such drinks at home. You should always have a bottle of water in the fridge. So, when you instinctively go to search for a Cola drink in the fridge you will only find water. Some of our interviewed heavy drinkers of Cola drinks stated that a good alternative that offers some of the fuzzy sensation is cold carbonated mineral water.