Switching From Caffeinated Sodas, Comfortably: My Story

@Orea15 (281)
United States
August 10, 2009 6:28am CST
Coke Classic was my caffeine fix of choice. I still remember the wonderful feeling of that first "hit" of ice cold Coke in the morning! But it wasn't good for me, and eventually a)I gained weight and b) I started having trouble getting to sleep at night because my mind wouldn't shut up. I even found out, as I quite, started, and re-quit, that drinking Coke depressed me a little. And that I felt better without it in my system. I never got into coffee, but I think many of the tips here can help with that, too. I made the switch from Coke Classic in increments. First, I gradually switched over to ginger ale. Why ginger ale? I liked Coke's stomach soothing effect, and ginger has a reputation for being good to the digestive system. After a few times trying this cold turkey and suffering from horrendous withdrawal headaches, I learned the value of patience. Do it slowly! Monitor how you feel and adjust accordingly. You will also minimize that post caffeine letdown, that makes it so hard to quit and so easy to justify taking a hit because you need the energy. I'll be completely honest here. Each time I quit, it took me about a month to feel as good as I did on caffeine. But I hasten to add, once I got there, I actually felt better than when I was on it. I did allow myself the odd iced tea, but only occasionally, and only through lunch. Even that got to so it affected my sleep, so by now it is a rare treat. When I was comfortable on ginger ale alone, I started to focus on the sugar. I didn't like the flavor of diet colas, or I might have reversed the order of the changes. I chose to go toward seltzer water. Why seltzer? Admittedly, I liked the bubbles, but also they seemed to carry the stomach settling effect of my Coke and ginger ale. This transition admittedly took some re-educating of my taste buds. I didn't love seltzer the first time I tried it. Or the second. But it really didn't take long for me to not only get used to it, but to truly like and enjoy it. I preferred the citrus flavors and raspberry (unsweetened all), to the cherry, which tasted medicinal to me. And I wasn't fond of the plain flavor. I took it a bit further when out of curiosity I bought a case of Perrier at the warehouse store. I didn't like the first bottle! But being a thrifty sort, I had no intention of throwing it away. I paid good money for it! So, little by little, I plowed my way (or drank my way) through that case of Perrier. And you know what? By bottle 24, I liked the stuff, and many more cases followed. The point I am trying to make is, your taste preferences are just that. They aren't set in stone. You can change them with diligence, patience, and repeated exposure. It isn't as hard as you might think. I happily stayed with seltzers for a number of years. The only real nagging doubt was the effect of the acidity to the enamel on my teeth. (The rest I just didn't think about!) I started weaning myself toward plain spring water when I was researching and considering lap band surgery. (Yes, those Cokes really helped pile on the pounds, and while dieting did help, it wasn't enough alone. But this is a whole other topic.) This last step wasn't really so hard, because, I believe, I was making better food choices, so my stomach didn't need the bubbles in order to be happy. I completely quit the seltzer several months before my surgery, and I rarely miss it. The only backsliding I have done, if you can call it that, is that I have been seduced by Crystal Light. I plan to gradually reduce or eliminate it. I think. I'm mot happy with the amount of artificial sweeteners I'm taking in. I wonder about fresh squeezed lemonade with stevia... I hope this saga helps you if you are interested in making this or other changes in your eating or drinking habits. Good luck! P.S. If you have made other beneficial changes like this, tell me how you did it. I'm still very much a work in progress.
2 responses
@bmuchler (442)
• United States
11 Aug 09
I feel much better since I have switched to water.
@Orea15 (281)
• United States
11 Aug 09
Good! I am concerned about the push for, and popularity of, all these new "energy drinks." It can't be a good thing.
@bmuchler (442)
• United States
10 Aug 09
I used to drink caffinated soda all the time. I never got into coffee so would just use soda. After a while I noticed I would be more thirsty after drinking soda and would just end drinking more to quench my thirst. I use diet ginger all when I am not feeling well. Whne I first stopped drinking soda, I had unbelievable headaches. Sometimes I would drink the soda just to get rid of the headaches. Once I got over that stage I was good. Now I just drink water or use Crystal light drink mixes. Mostly water though.
@Orea15 (281)
• United States
11 Aug 09
I have heard that caffeine is a diuretic. Maybe your body was trying to compensate? Or maybe it was asking for water to flush out the sugar and chemicals. Do you feel better now that you are drinking more water?