6 ways to reduce your soda cravings

craving for soda
Learn six ways to reduce your soda cravings, which are most often triggered by your sweet tooth.

Cravings can cause an intense urge to have some food or beverages right away. You can have a craving anytime that’s not necessarily fueled by hunger pangs.

Your cravings for soda may be triggered by your sweet tooth; however, the best alternative for a soda is coffee or tea with minimal sugar. Add milk to your tea and coffee to get the sugary taste.

Here are six ways to reduce your soda cravings:

  1. Drink more water when you have soda cravings because many cravings could be confused with thirst.
  2. Do not go hungry for a long time because hunger is a major cause behind soda cravings.
  3. If you crave the sugar, you can try healthy sweet treats, which include:
    • Fruits, such as apples, berries, pineapple, mangoes, and grapes
    • Sugar-free chewing gum
    • Yogurt with a few small pieces of fruit
    • Dark chocolate
  4. Try other alternatives, such as:
    • Infused sparkling water
    • Kombucha
    • Sparkling green tea
    • Water with mint and cucumber
    • Herbal or fruit teas
    • Coconut water
  5. Manage your stress levels to control cravings
  6. Distract yourself from the thoughts of soda by chewing gum or engaging in other activities

Why do I crave soda?

Craving is not as simple as people think. It involves a biochemical reason, and stopping this craving is not just about willpower.

The following things occur during a food craving:

  • The brain wants you to perform more and more actions that promote dopamine release.
  • When you eat food, the brain releases dopamine, which is interpreted as pleasure.
  • The brain stimulates you to perform more and more actions that promote dopamine release.
  • Soda and other high sugar foods promote more dopamine release than other whole food, resulting in cravings.
  • Thus, the brain seeks more and more sugary foods to get the pleasure response.

5 reasons to reduce your craving for soda

Soda is nothing but empty calories. It does not provide any essential nutrients to the body. The fluoride content in soda is disastrous for your thyroid health.

The major reasons why you need to rethink about having the next can or bottle of sugary soda include:

  1. Diabetes mellitus: Individuals who consume one to two can of sugary soda every day are 26 percent more at risk of developing type II diabetes mellitus compared to people who never had such drinks.
  2. Obesity:
    • Sugary drinks can contribute to empty calories. The more sugary the drinks you have, the more calories you are consuming.
    • Moreover, you do not feel full from drinking sodas because the body does not treat liquid calories like calories from solid foods. As a result, you might be tempted to eat more even after having a high-calorie drink.
    • People on a diet tend to go easy on sodas and other soft drinks mainly because of a misconception that beverages have fewer calories than solid foods. However, the reverse is true because soft drinks provide more calories than most desserts or high-calorie foods. Hence, people consuming more sugary drinks are at a high risk of gaining weight.
  3. Heart diseases: A study revealed that people who regularly drank one can of a sugary drink are at a higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack.
  4. Bone health: Soda and other sugary drinks may pose a threat to bone health.
    • High phosphate levels in carbonated drinks can have a damaging effect on bone health.
    • Phosphate levels might replace the calcium levels in the bone, making it brittle. Calcium is a vital nutrient during childhood and adolescence.
    • Soft drinks do not have any essential nutrients required for bone or other organs.
  5. Tooth decay: Excess sugar and acid in fizzy drinks can cause dental caries or tooth decay in children. Tooth decay occurs when the tooth enamel gets dissolved by the sugar and acid present in the carbonated drinks.


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Medically Reviewed on 2/24/2022
Image Source: iStock Images

Harvard T. H. Chan. Cravings. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/cravings/

Shaw G. How to Beat Your Craving for Soda. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/how-to-beat-your-craving-for-soda

Pacheco D. Soda and Sleep. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition/soda-and-sleep