One Month Soda Fast

As of this Saturday, I had gone one whole month without soda or carbonation of any kind.  Now, to many in our readership, this may seem like no big deal.  Many may do this on a regular basis without even knowing or thinking about it.  But I have a problem.  No, I am not going to admit that “I am Dunce Two, and I am a caffeine addict.”  But I am employed, and my place of employment has free soda, all you can drink, within about 10 feet of my desk.  And who can resist that?My latest no-soda stint was spurred by my desire to get in soccer shape.  My track coach told me years ago that you will be able to run faster and farther if you cut out soda entirely.  I did it then, because I was part of a team, and I wanted to perform to the height of my ability (it was also easier because I was a lot younger, and (1) I had access to a lot more natural energy, and (2) my parents would not allow caffeine in the house or tolerate its consumption (again, I am not admitting to addiction, but I don’t really see the point in non-caffeinated soda)).

Now, part of a team again, I wanted to see what I could do.  The first game, I had not yet begun my no-soda quest, and my butt was dragging (again, possibly also having something to do with the fact that I have not played competitive soccer in over 15 years).  But I decided to give it a try.

30-days, no soda, these were my results:

(1)  Physically- I did feel better.  My energy levels felt more natural, and I felt less bloated.  I was, even in that short period of time, able to notice a difference in my endurance and breathing.  I fell asleep more easily.  There were some headaches, but nothing crazy.  Overall, this part was good.

(2)  Intellectually- Felt a little fuzzy and concentration was more of a challenge, especially at work.

(3)  Emotionally-  I was, internally, in a horrible mood almost the entire time.  Part of this could be that soccer is only one night a week, and other than soccer, I wasn’t getting much physical stimulation to offset the artificial chemical lift.  Part of it could be that we were moving during this time and work was busy and our kids were unsettled and not sleeping and driving me insane.  Part of it could be that I am emotionally dependent on Red Bull.  I don’t know.

The take home message for me:  whenever I take part in super scientific self-experiments like this, I always find that, even after a little while, it is easy to lessen or stop the behavior because you get perspective.  A lot of the times I go to grab a soda, it’s not because I need one, it’s because I am bored and want something to do.  Water, in a lot of ways, can fill this same need.  I drank a lot more water during this time, and I think that was good for me.  If I’m feeling tired, soda is a quick and easy, but not necessarily effective or healthy fix.  The real answer is that I should sleep and exercise more.  A lot of this has to do with kids and other distractions/obligations, but understanding the situation/problem is the first step in getting it fixed.

Sometimes I just want the taste of something sweet.  There are flavored drinks that are much better for you than soda.

Sometimes I cheated and got those 5-hour energy things.  I don’t know what those do.  Mostly it just gave me a warm, almost burning sensation in my scalp and neck, and made me sweat profusely.  Are they supposed to do that?

If you’re interested at all, you should try it out.  It was interesting.  I think the real goal is moderation, which is tough for me as I am prone to excess.  If I like something, I LIKE it, and want to like it all the time, as much as I can.  Maybe that should be the subject of a different post.

Thoughts?

9 thoughts on “One Month Soda Fast

  1. I’ve done this before, with similar results. I just like it too much. I don’t love it that I’m a Diet Mt. Dew addict, but the pleasure I get out of it is worth the cost. Of course, there hasn’t really been any cost yet.

    I’ll probably feel differently once my kidneys dissolve.

    • I’ve heard the debate on Diet being worse for you than Regular. It is hard to imagine something being worse than consuming an extra 800 liquid calories a day.

      There is a pleasure in it, and I don’t think it’s just the caffeine. The sweetness, the cool can in hand, the tingly burn as you pour ounce after blessed ounce down your gullet…

      I did like how I felt without it. Physically. And looked. I was lithe and sleek like a jungle cat. IF I could get a great amount of sleep AND exercise very regularly, I could come a lot closer to giving it up. But there is a joy in it that cannot be mimicked. Cannot be replaced.

      Bye, bye kidneys.

  2. thoughts:
    1) Wow. You’re parent’s were stalwart! I am shocked that you have strayed from their teachings…or am I? j/k
    2) You must work in a REALLY fancy office to be offered FREE pop every day.
    3) I used to think that caffeinated pop didn’t work for me, energy wise. Until I did a RAGNAR relay. Never volunteer your car to use for one of those because you will be stuck doing most of the driving and after running that much and only getting 2 crappy hours of sleep, you will need a caffeinated pop. Anyway, that cherry Coke really hit the spot and helped get us all home safely.
    4) Do you drink diet?
    5) This 5hr energy drinks are nasty. Never been able to get a full one down.

    • (1) If there was a more extreme word for “stalwart,” that would be my parents. Hard-freaking-core! (Are you really all that shocked? You know me better than that).

      (2) I guess so. It has actually been a staple at the last 3 places I have worked. Got to keep the worker bees happy/energized.

      (3) Sometimes you need something. Better happy and safely home than caffeine-free in a ditch somewhere. Congrats on the running/racing, btw!

      (4) On occasion. I prefer “regular,” but vanity usually prevails.

      (5) That’s saying something, because they are only, what, 2 ounces? But it is kind of gross.

  3. Maybe, instead of eliminating soda completely, you should just cut back. Exercise some moderation. I limit myself to one lunchtime diet soda a day (she said virtuously), sometimes non-caffeinated! I think I just like the bubbles. (Of course, this is after enjoying approximately 20 ounces of delicious piping hot black coffee to kick off the morning, but that is neither here nor there, am I right?)

    • Absolutely right! Who said anything about coffee? This is purely a soda discussion. I applaud your soda-related restraint!

      Moderation is a fine philosophy…in principle. What I think you have picked up on, however, at least as far as Dunce Two is concerned, is not so much a soda-specific problem but a general moderation ineptitude. If I knew how to moderate, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion. On a number of levels.

      I think I, personally, like the indulgence element. We all indulge in something, don’t we Daisy? If not soda, then what?

      Horrifying possibilities!

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