“Is My Diet Soda an Addiction?”

Most people are well aware of soda’s detrimental effects on the teeth (including erosion and bone loss) – but it also is addictive?

The allure of diet soda is obvious for people who are conscious about their figure: it tastes great, it’s refreshing, and has few or no calories.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t realize how dangerous the other ingredients in soda really are, even with no sugar. Many diet cola drinkers have a false sense of security that their diets will be successful drinking diet soda, and actually consume more calories because of it. Putting aside the acidic problems with soda and the havoc they wreak on your teeth, gum and bone, let’s look at the caffeine aspect of cola. All dark colas are full of artificial chemicals which can degrade your skin and internal organs over time, but those which are caffeinated present an addictive factor as well. Caffeine addiction can make a person feel downright ill if they don’t receive their “soda fix” – muscle pains, headaches and nervousness are common among soda addicts, and are known as symptomatic withdrawal. Even though withdrawal symptoms are most commonly associated with tobacco and hard drugs, caffeine falls into the addictive drug category as well. Johns Hopkins University, the authoritative leader on mental disorders in the medical world recognized “Caffeine Withdrawal” as an official disorder in 2004. Symptoms usually occur within 12 – 24 hours of halting caffeine intake, and can last for days.

In addition to the caffeine addiction problem with all soda, recent studies have shown that drinking even just one soda a day can raise a person’s risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 48%. Metabolic syndrome drastically increases the likelihood for heart disease and diabetes. Phosphoric acid found in any dark cola is another leading contributor to bone loss among soda drinkers. Combined with the high withdraw rates of caffeine addiction and the problems associated with caffeine withdraw (disturbed eating and sleeping patterns, anxiety and restlessness), drinking even moderate amounts of soda in a day-to-day routine can produce drastically negative effects on a person’s health. This does not even address the detrimental effects of cola acidity on oral health.

In North America, a continent in which 80 – 90% of all adults drink some form of caffeine on a regular basis, this epidemic of sorts has reached maximum capacity. Save your body and your mind – kick the soda habit! You will feel more rested and relaxed throughout your day, your concentration ability will increase and you will be doing a great service to your osteo (bone) and oral health. Drinking diet soda does not guarantee your diet will be successful, and in the long run, will in fact make your body’s health deteriorate. If you must drink diet cola, be sure to drink in moderation! Small amounts, 8oz or less, only once a day! Think about the chemicals and caffeine in the cola you drink, you might think twice!

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