Home Clean Eating Boot Camp How Soft Drinks Impact Your Health

How Soft Drinks Impact Your Health

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Y’all know me… I’m team ANTI soda. I don’t do soda, pop, fizzypop, drank, purple stuff… whatever you call it, I’m perfectly fine without it. It’s gross, full of calories and, quite frankly, offers my body nothing. It’s a waste. Just.. ugh.

That being said.. Deesha sent over this infographic from Term Life Insurance that offers up more than a little detail regarding how, exactly, sodapop affects our bodies. I can’t say anything more.. the graphic says it all:

Feel free to click the image to see the full sized version.

This infographic comes right on time, because this week’s challenge is to drink 8 glasses of water. Each day. Yes, eight. Know what that means – you shouldn’t have time to drink sodapop. Regardless of whether your vice is regular sodapop, diet sodapop or fancy schmancy “cane sugar sweetened soft drinks,” let ’em go.

Really, the goal for this week is to only drink water, but if you have a sugar addiction to cope with (no, really) then that would be difficult. So settle for 8 glasses of water this time. Set a schedule on your phone to just guzzle a glass every two hours. Grab yourself a container that holds 4 glasses of water at a time,and be sure to fill it two times a day. Make yourself a very excellent pitcher of naturally sweetened tea, if you must. But really… we’ve got to start getting beyond this stuff. No matter how much you love it… it ain’t clean.

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manda August 23, 2010 - 6:35 AM

What types of drinks do you drink? I had another question as well, what do you think about the Weight Control Oatmeals they have?

Erika August 23, 2010 - 7:47 AM

What do I drink? Water! Maybe an occasional flavored iced tea with honey if I need a sweetener (I have allergies.) but more often than not, it’s simply water.

As far as those oatmeals go… you’re better off buying a giant can of quick cooking oats. THAT is all the “weight control” you need… without the extra price, IMO.

Sarah August 23, 2010 - 9:05 AM

That graphic is UNBELIEVEABLE. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing that.

I used to drink Pepsi left and right, but have weaned myself off of it. When I want something fizzy (the real reason I liked sodas in the first place), I drink sparkling water. When I want something sweet, I drink Izze (a juice/sparking water blend — no added sugar/HFCS!). But, even then, I only drink about half the bottle, since drinking the whole thing (12 ounces) blows my carb load for the day (it’s about 45 carbs/bottle).

JoAnna August 23, 2010 - 9:39 AM

I used to be addicted to Ruby Red Squirt. I could finish off a 2-liter bottle in 2 days, but some of the fizz fizzled. So then I started buying 12pks two at a time per week. I was very depressed about my horrible job, and more month than money issues and that Ruby Red Squirt was there to make me feel better… And helped me pack on 50+lbs in 18 months. I do have to spread blame on fast food, lack of exercise and my mental state, but that soda was the hardest thing to give up.

Club soda with fruit juice is a good substitute but who can drink a liter of it at a time before the fizz goes away?

ChellBellz August 23, 2010 - 12:33 PM

its funny because last week my sugar glucose test came back really high, I’m normally not a sugar person, but I drink alot of sweet teas, but i drink half of my daily water with my breakfast alone. 32 oz. Today I put down my tea, and picked up a Diet Coke…when i got back to drink it…the straw floated and the soda was wierd in the straw…I threw it away…and realized i would have to deal with water. I don’t know when things like soda, or juice do wierd things in cups it makes me sick. I can only imagine whats in the Diet Coke. I just think it’s funny that I got this email literally after i threw the soda away.

Crystal August 23, 2010 - 12:38 PM

When you say 8 glasses of water, is that the same as 64 ounces? “Glass” is subjective, lol.

Erika August 23, 2010 - 4:38 PM

For now, I’m trying to avoid being specific on ounce amounts, because most “glasses” are larger than a cup/8oz anyway, you know? Right now, the goal is to just get people used to drinking water (and NOT fruit punch or soft drinks), then we can focus on numbers later. Feel me? LOL

noiresky August 26, 2010 - 6:46 AM

I love your site! Personally the former you is currently where I am at now; so you are truly my inspiration 🙂
Great post about the soda, I just printed and posted the chart in the office. I am a total sugar-addict and have cut out sweet drinks. I swear there must be crack in this soda and the like because I have never had such intense cravings for anything like I have had with soda and HFC drinks. I am looking forward to trying your tip on Tea though and thank you again for your story and site

Monique August 29, 2010 - 12:32 PM

OMG but this is amazing, a while back i read a article you wrote about how much you lost simply change a few eating habits, one was soda and juice and it’s amazing how the weight comes off when your not drinking a 2 liter of pepsi and a half gallon of hawian punch a day, it was hard but when i took a sip of soda after a few weeks it tasted so diffrent,theres some kinda taste to it i never tasted before so THANK YOU with this site and the information you give us all it’s done wonder to change peoples life,ive lost 17 pounds and honestly just to see what it was like i found items in a grocery store equalling close to that weight and walked around with them and almost died,that was the weight my heart was carrying


Nola August 29, 2010 - 3:24 PM

I drink water, green tea, white tea, oolong (blue tea), Ruby Red grapefruit juice, unsweetened cranberry juice, Organic purple carrot juice (very high in beta carotene), orange carrot juice, lemon water and lime water. I try not to drink anything that does not offer my body some nutritonal value – unless ofcourse it’s booze but even then I aim for red wine, vodka clubsoda a fresh juice.

What I have also learned is that it is not necessary to drink 64oz of water a day – people have taken it literally. The body should get 64oz of fluids preferably from a combination of things such as water, fruits, veggies, and whole (not loaded with sweeteners) fruit drinks and health promoting teas.

Erika August 29, 2010 - 3:44 PM

I’m not sure what disqualifies 64oz as being “necessary,” but for the purpose of this part of the boot camp, 8 glasses is merely about getting in a drink, staying hydrated, and squashing the desire for something other than water. 8 glasses puts one at approx one glass every two hours. Very beneficial to the body.

So while you may not die drinking less than 64oz, it will definitely make living a little better.

Amber October 3, 2010 - 8:08 AM

This post is so educational!

I am not a fan of soda (the only time I ever have it is with liquor), but I do have a few people in my life I would love to share this with. If you ever do a post about the nonsense that is Kool-Aid, let me know! I really need to ween some people in my life off of that stuff!!

atlgirl January 5, 2011 - 4:07 PM

I drink orange juice like it’s water. Do you think that’s a bad thing???

NELL January 14, 2011 - 7:41 PM

I do drink a lot of water through out the day, so much sometimes that I go to the potty all night LOL! My question is what do you think about the flavored bubbly water? I (every now and then) slip in a couple of bottles and it soothes any craving I may have (haven’t had in a long time) for soda. I just want your opinion. Drinking lots of water cut my calories by more than half because it made me so full. Thanks in advance.

Stephy January 15, 2011 - 1:02 PM

I seem to be addicted to the drink mixes that you add to
your bottled water. They tell you it’s sugar free and no calorie.
What do you think about those.

Helena Skysthelimit Thornton February 8, 2011 - 9:01 PM

I just quit diet soda and have to throw what’s left in fridge out,you don’t want to even know what I spend on diet soda.

Kia Michette April 17, 2011 - 5:22 PM

The sad truth, ladies, is that despite having been armed with all of this information for years, I still haven’t stopped drinking diet soda. I have tried many times and my resolve remains intact for a short period, then back to my daily consumption. I won’t dare to make excuses about the diet soda or the emotional eating in which I engage, but I am wonderfully grateful for this site and your investment in the well being of all women. Perhaps when I am truly sick and tired of being sick and tired I will do better for myself.

nai October 8, 2011 - 6:47 PM

I really appreciate both this post and the visual provided. About a year ago I completely gave up soda and juice and showered my body with nothing but water. Recently I picked up soda drinking and what a bad decision.

HerMindandBody November 13, 2011 - 1:33 PM

At one point I had stopped drinking soda for over a year…then I started back drinking just diet soda’s, figuring that it wouldn’t hurt. I recall taking on more responsibility, which lent to increased stress, and so I guess the diet soda was a way to cope with the stress, I just needed that sweetness, and thought a diet soda was a better way to satisfy the craving.

Miss Nicolette January 4, 2012 - 5:28 PM

Wow! I randomly came across this post and I think it is totally awesome. Several months ago, I decided to stop buying soda and juices for home and to start drinking water. I did it for health reasons and for money saving reasons. I couldn’t believe it when I checked into the scale a couple of months later. I had lost 10 pounds without doing jack diddly! Erika, thanks for sharing this with your readers…THIS IS NEED TO KNOW INFO! 😉

Terrez January 9, 2012 - 3:30 PM

Thanks what an exciting post, I quit drinking soda from I found out i was weighing about 200 pounds. I have since lost 15 pounds after I change my way of eating and I must say your blogs are keeping me in line. But what about the Crystal Light drinks are they healthy? Is this a good substitution in place of sodas and/or sweet drinks seeing as though it has 95% fewer calories.

sheilaw17 January 9, 2012 - 2:13 PM

Wow…in a bad way. Soda is just crap.

Starry February 12, 2012 - 11:43 AM

This was a really informative post – thanks very much! I really cut down on the amount of softdrinks that I was drinking shortly before I started reading your blog and was astounded at how much better and more energised I began to feel a month or so later. It was part of my getting healthier and getting my known and understand how my body worked, that I found your blog and it has been, and still is!, a fantastic way of learning exactly what is going on when I eat/drink certain foods and *why* it is that I feel so much better after cutting such crap out of my diet. The more we learn, the more empowered we are to continue to make good and positive decisions for our bodies and our lives. I take my hat off to you for helping me so much in this endeavour!

jess September 11, 2012 - 11:25 AM

I stopped drinking soda, I just stopped not that I chose to give it up but I just quit it. But unfortunately, now I’m positive I’m addicted to coffee. Everyday I have coffee, sometimes I have it 3times a day… The weird thing I have noticed though is, it makes me depressed and tired. How do I stop this from going on.

Erika Nicole Kendall September 11, 2012 - 12:20 PM

The side-effect to coffee is that it blocks the chemicals in the brain that make us tired… which results in an overflow of those chemicals once the coffee has worn off, thereby making you feel the “depressed” and “tired” feeling. My guess – completely unscientific – is that it isn’t necessarily making you “depressed,” but that the coffee makes you excessively “peppy,” LOL and you lose that once the caffeine wears off.

I’d consider taking a look at the *kind* of coffee you’re buying, if you’re getting it from a store or if you’re brewing it at home, is it instant or is it fresh-brewed, if there’s anything funny or weird in it that doesn’t belong, and finally if you’re adding anything like excessive sugar or tons of cream to yours. Do you drink your coffee black with no sugars? If not, could you? Those are things I’d consider giving the once-over to determine just what the issue is, and how to fight it.

Simone May 28, 2013 - 5:13 PM

Because of BPA what do you drink from at the gym? Most water bottles have BPA.

Erika Nicole Kendall May 28, 2013 - 9:45 PM


And no, most bottles really don’t come with BPA anymore. Most major brands have learned better.

FL November 19, 2013 - 8:33 PM

I tend to feel more dehydrated when I drink more water. I don’t usually drink 8 glasses of any liquid within a given day anyway. but do you know why water would have a dehydrating affect?

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