We like to think we’re healthy. Maybe we use our exercise equipment on a daily basis, and we’re making a real effort to eat healthily. That’s great, but nearly a third of Americans consume a sugar-sweetened drink like soda every day. Maybe you’re one of them, and maybe you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “Sure, I like soda. What’s the big deal?”

If you’re an avid drinker of sodas, you likely either aren’t aware of the problems soda can cause to your body, or you figure the damage is minimal. Sure, enjoying soda in moderation isn’t great, but it’s also nothing to worry about. But if you’re a daily drinker of sodas, keep reading. We’ll go over a few reasons why it’s so problematic and how you can transition off them.

  • Are you trying to lose weight? If so, you’ll want to sit down before reading this. The average can of soda contains about 160 calories. If you drink a can a day, you’re ingesting 4,800 extra calories, which equals an extra 1.4 pounds. Over the course of a year, you’ll drink about 57,600 extra calories, which gives you an additional 16.8 or so pounds of weight you’re carrying around.
  • Along with putting on weight, sodas have a great ability to slowly ruin your teeth. During a scientific experiment, tooth enamel was placed into a container filled with Coca-Cola and similar drinks for 48 hours. When the enamel was removed, it was discovered that the high acidity of the soda dissolved 5% of the body of the enamel.
  • Maybe you’ve drunk all that soda to try and stay hydrated, right? Not so much, since soft drinks are loaded with caffeine, which is a diuretic. Simply put, it’s a drug that boosts urine production, which means you’re actually losing water from your body. The caffeine also blocks the hormones melatonin and serotonin, along with your adenosine receptors. This is a problem because it prevents you from falling asleep quickly and reaping the benefits of a good night of deep sleep.

So now you know just a few of the reasons soda is so bad for you. The next step is cutting out consumption, and we’ll give you a few ways to make that easier.

  • If you’re reading this, you probably want to quit drinking sodas. Identify just one reason that quitting benefits your life, and hang onto that. You don’t need a long list, just a single motivation like weight loss or stronger teeth. When you’re tempted to crack open a can of soda, use that motivation to help you stay strong.
  • Serious about quitting? Don’t wait until you’ve finished the six-pack or 2-liter bottle in the fridge. Dump it all out. As a matter of fact, it can be cathartic to pour the soda down the drain and resolve not to let any more go into your body.
  • The best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit. After you’ve gotten rid of the soda, replace it with healthy options like fruit juice or water. If you just fill up a bottle with water and refill it throughout the day, you’ll stay healthy and save money.